Gun sales in Mass. spike after Orlando shooting

NORWOOD, Mass. — Gun owners in Massachusetts and across the country are concerned about restrictions on the sale of firearms after the Orlando shooting, especially assault rifles.

Bob Sheehan, the owner of Norwood Armory, said that since the Orlando shooting, he's seen his sales more than double with customers looking for guns.

Some customers are even trying to get their hands on AR-15s, the same gun used in the shootings in Orlando and Sandy Hook.

“It's probably not a question of need. It's a question of your constitutional rights under the second amendment,” he said.

Gun owners like Mike Klipp said they are worried the laws could soon change.

Klipp was at Norwood Armory to buy some ammunition and possibly get a new gun to add to his collection, which already includes an AR-15.

”I purchased it because of the events that are happening. It's one of those things that once it's banned, you'll never be able to get your hands on it again,” he said.

FOX25’s Blair Miller asked people on his Facebook page about the issue, their opinions varied.

“If we ban the AR-15.. What do we ban next? Where does it stop?” Jennifer Nash wrote.

“They should be banned for personal use, no one besides military and police need a weapon that causes mass destruction,” Robin Hall wrote.

At the Armory, Klipp explained why he needed one.

“I've only used it a couple of times since I got it.  Sport shooting, long distance shooting, paper targets,” he said. “At the end of the day, it's just like any other firearm.”

Gun sales also spiked after the shootings at Sandy Hook and in San Bernardino.

Sheehan said he takes the gun buying process very seriously. He said he can refuse to sell to a customer and has done so three times in the past two years.

Massachusetts firearms dealers can only to sell to those with a valid state firearms license and must report all sales to the Firearms Records Bureau. FOX25 asked for those sale records for assault rifles, also known as AR-15 rifles, and uncovered that dealers have sold at least 200 of the high-capacity weapons every year since 2013.

  • 2013: 255
  • 2014: 203
  • 2015: 203
  • 2016: 102