Gun control advocates and others horrified by the carnage in Newtown are trying to keep the drum beat sounding for stricter gun laws.
But Salt Lake City seems to be marching to a different beat. Sporting stores and pawn shops are seeing a rush on guns, including assault-style weapons, and ammunition as many shooters fear a clamp-down following President Obama's vow to do something to prevent another mass shooting.
The gun-rush locally is apparently also being fed by KSL Classified's decision to suspend all firearms sales and sporting goods stores like Dick's removal of assault weapons from their racks. (Note to survivalists: If you click through to KSL classifieds Reloading section you can still buy large-capacity magazines for assault weapons.) None of this illegal, of course, and according to the NRA could be part of the solution.
Clerks at two gun store/pawn shops reported 45-minute to two-hour waits to get buyer background checks completed by the Utah Bureau of Criminal Information (BCI). The background checks usually take a matter of minutes.
Overheard at a pawn shop on State Street Thursday:
Man examining a used AR-15: "Hey, can I buy a gun if I have a felony?"
Clerk, stifling a laugh: "Actually, NO."
Man: "I didn't think so."
AR-15s, including the infamous Bushmaster, were selling for $600-$900 used. Eastern bloc AK-type rifles about half that.
Curious about Utah's love affair with guns? Read Salt Lake magazine's Executive Editor Mary Brown Malouf's exploration here.