Gun Sales Increase In Topeka After Talk Of Tighter Gun Control

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The gun control topic is one people have debated for years.

But with the Aurora, Colorado and Newtown, Connecticut shooting tragedies, it has forced people, and the White House, to discuss gun control more and more.

Even before President Obama revealed his proposals to reduce gun violence Wednesday morning, people in Topeka and around the nation have bought more guns than usual.

The pistol case in Dennis Stein's pawn shop, Pawn Market, Inc., is close to empty.

In the rifle rack, where three weapons could fit, sits only one.

The assault rifle stock - completely wiped out.

"Once there was talk about a potential ban of assault rifles, we were sold out of those the same day," Stein said. "We've had a large demand for pistols and rifles and also ammunition."

Stein says business picked up once the Obama administration set its sights on new gun control laws, taking aim, in particular, to assault weapons.

Stein said he's sold out of numerous types of ammunition, including 223 ammunition that the assault rifles shoot. "RIght now you probably couldn't find much of any of those calibers in Topeka anywhere at any store," Stein said.

It's reflective of the entire nation. More than a record 2.7 million background checks were performed in December for prospective buyers in the United States.

But even some of those who support gun rights don't think all the president's proposals are completely off-target.

Some think that banning guns isn't the solution, but that no one needs extravagant guns.

Stein says what citizens may be afraid of is not having the option to buying a gun at all, but he doesn't see that happening. He thinks the issue lies in targeting mental health.

"The people that have been involved in the shootings have all had mental health problems and shouldn't have been able to own a gun in the first place," Stein said. "And until we get a grip on how that's happening, I'm nost sure that any new proposals are going to help."

The President has opposition from politicians in Kansas.

Congresswoman Lynn Jenkins released a statement saying she canot support the President's ideas because they "will result in little more than reducing the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens."

Senator Pat Roberts said in a statement that the White House is not taking the opportunity to address mental illness and is "disheartened by the White House Gun Violence task force's recommendations."