Huge crowds at Connecticut gun shops before vote

State lawmakers approved some of the toughest gun control measures in the country, and gun enthusiasts are responding by going shopping.

By Kim Peterson Apr 3, 2013 3:32PM
Updated 8:05 p.m. ET

Gun control votes and packed gun stores are pretty predictable pairings these days. Nowhere was that more evident this week than in Connecticut, where state lawmakers approved a sweeping bill Wednesday.

One gun store told NBC News that business jumped five-fold ahead of the vote. One shopper said people were snapping up "anything semi-automatic."

The frenzy comes as the state's General Assembly debates a proposal to ban military-style assault weapons and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The bill also bans armor-piercing bullets and requires a background check for all gun purchases, including those made at gun shows.Credit: © Scott Olson/Getty Images
Caption: A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store. December, 2012

Emotions on both sides of the debate were running high this week, leading Gov. Dannel Malloy to cancel an appearance at the capitol due to security concerns.

The Connecticut Senate approved the measure in a 26-10 vote, and the House began debating the bill Wednesday evening, Reuters reported. The proposal was crafted partly in response to the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, in which 20 children and six adults were killed.

"You can make an argument, a strong argument, that this is the toughest law passed anywhere in the country,'' Malloy said, according to The Hartford Courant.

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