A month ago, 20 students and six adults were shot and killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Since then, President Obama ordered an in-depth look at gun laws while record numbers of people have been buying guns and applying for permits. A weekend gun show opened Friday in Carter Lake and it was packed.
In Douglas County, 138 applications for gun permits were submitted Friday alone, the second busiest day behind New Year's Eve when 145 were filled out. Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Marty Bilek said before Sandy Hook, a busy day was 35 applications.
Gun show organizers are not surprised. More than 225 tables of all types of guns were set up and ready for purchase inside the Chez Paree in Carter Lake. "It's only 4:30 and we already got a lineup and around here gun sales are at a peak right now, a record, all-time high,” said promoter Marvin Kraus.
Kraus said since the Sandy Hook shooting, his shows have been packed with people aimed at arming themselves. “People are afraid. Our times are changing in this world. People are scared and want the guns to protect themselves."
The recent violence has thrust gun control into the forefront on all levels of politics. “I think Obama is playing that to the heel, trying to legislate on emotion, he's trying to take advantage of this."
“When you do grip it, it is if you were going to hold it to aim in, always keep your finger straight and off that trigger. The trigger is going to be our last resort safety mechanism." As part of the gun show, Garrett Schmidt teaches concealed carry permit classes only available to Iowa residents since in Nebraska firing a live weapon is needed to qualify. Schmidt said he's seen a spike in the number of women attending his classes.
“Any type of violence in a school or something like that we see firearm sales go up, attendance at gun shows go up, conceal carry classes increase in numbers."
Supporters say gun safety and education works hand-in-hand with laws already in place. “It ain't guns that kill people it is people that kill people. It's violent people, it's the crazy people."
At the Omaha Gun Show, there is a three-day waiting period on handguns. For all gun purchases, an applicant must pass a federal background check, including criminal history and questions on psychiatric history. Most dealers have a federal firearms license.
Earlier this week, President Obama proposed renewing a ban on assault weapons, limit high-capacity ammunition magazines and require universal background checks for all gun buyers.
Vice President Biden said he was ready to battle to pass this legislation. "We're going to take this fight to the halls of Congress. We're going to take it beyond that. We're going take it to the American people. We're going to go around the country making our case and we're going to let the voice of the American people be heard."