N.H. Gun Shop Sees Spike In Sales Following CT School Shooting

Dec 17, 2012

Doug Dack, a manager at Riley's Sport Shop in Hooksett, fills out paperwork during a sale Monday.
Credit Michael Brindley, NHPR

In the days following the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut one gun shop in New Hampshire reports higher than normal sales. 

Riley's Sport Shop in Hooksett sells a variety of firearms. Manager Doug Dack says the week before Christmas is normally busy.

But this past weekend the store saw a noticeable spike in sales.

Dack attributes it directly to the school shooting that took place in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday.

He says many of the customers have been talking about the shooting.  Dack says he’s thought about it a lot.  His wife works at a public school.

“I’ve never been moved quite so much as I was hearing that. Even 9/11 didn’t hit me personally and other people, other members of the staff here quite the same way, little children like that, there’s nothing quite so tragic I don’t think.”

Dack says it’s become common that following any one of the recent mass shootings in this country, people either fear gun laws will tighten or they want to arm themselves for self-defense. He says the shop also saw a bump in sales following President Obama’s re-election.

This past weekend, Dack says he was told state police got a record number of requests for handgun sale background checks on Saturday.

State police did not return messages Monday to confirm this, but Dack says his shop’s sales seem to back it up.  And he says all this business reminds him to take existing gun laws seriously.

“I’ve told people who start here, new people, you never have to sell a gun. If you’re uncomfortable for any reason selling the gun, don’t do it, it’s not worth it. We don’t need the business.”

But as momentum builds for a national conversation on stricter gun laws, Dack cautions lawmakers to look at the root causes of these actions, such as mental illness, before enacting weapons bans.

“In a country with a population of 300 million plus, unfortunately, horrible things are going to happen, and if there were all the restrictions in the world, if there was a total ban on all fire arms, it would still happen.”

Dack says he believes there should be more trained, armed professionals in schools to curb such acts of violence.