With the gun control debate sparking conversations across the country, one Vermont gun shop owner says sales are up following the Orlando mass shooting on Sunday.
Henry Parro owns Parro’s Gun Shop in Waterbury. He says on Monday morning, sales for AR-15 rifles- the style rifle the shooter used to carry out his attack- increased.
“They’re modern sporting rifles, they’re used in competition, you can use them in hunting, and they’re just fun,” Parro said of the intended use of an AR-15 rifle.
He says the rifles are sold year round, every day of the week.
“A lot of the talk Monday was how this item will be blamed for the crime, rather than the person committing it. Once people start talking about outlawing a certain product, people want it,” Parro said.
Parro said customers have also been requesting AR-15 lower receivers, a firearm component, defined by the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives.
“Someone purchasing just this part here has to go through a federal background check, because they can make the firearm out of this,” Parro said.
The gun shop owner said this is not the first time he has seen a spike in sales for this style rifle.
“When there is a high profile crime, and politicians start talking about taking away individual’s rights, it does bring business in,” Parro said.
Parro said he believes sales have increased for the wrong reason. He said if a new law were to take effect banning certain style rifles, it would not affect sales too much, but Vermonters would not be happy.
“The AR-15 market is a large market in Vermont, there’s a lot of AR-15’s owned by law-abiding citizens,” Parro said.
On the other side of the gun control debate, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Tuesday the country should rethink these kinds of weapons.
“The idea that these types of weapons are designed to do one thing and one thing alone, kill people by the dozens. The idea that they should be sold and distributed in this country seems to me to be terribly wrong. Those types of weapons should be banned,” Sanders said.