Gun owners worry they are being targeted

5:56 PM, Dec 19, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, FL -- While the President announced his plans to develop new policies to combat gun violence on Wednesday, Bryan Roper of Tampa was buying his first gun. He purchased a Glock 9mm at Shooting Sports on North Dale Mabry.

"Knowing that some things might get cracked down on and it might be hard to get one later I decided now... to get one," he told 10 News.

Roper says he decided to buy the gun for protection following Friday's school shooting at Sandy Hook.

"You know, a lot of people right now are playing devil's advocate to this point, but I do wonder if some of the folks on site there -- who are responsible citizens with no records -- had a concealed weapons permit and a firearm, it could have saved some lives."

Gun sales have spiked since Friday with many people like Roper citing personal protection as the reason for their purchase. But Cheryl Fowler, a sales associate at Shooting Sports says some people are now buying assault rifles over fears the weapons will soon be outlawed.

"Your long guns like your AR-15, your M-4 type models, your AK-47s or SKS's... those are going to be the ones they hit first," Fowler said.

Many gun owners also feel they're getting a black eye because of the Connecticut school shooting, stressing they should not be the ones being targeted.

"I find a lot, like on Facebook for example, people are always posting pictures against guns. But they don't realize that maybe one day that will save them if someone close to them has a gun," said gun owner Chris Marelli.

So while the debate over gun control heats up, Roper wants politicians and others to consider this before any gun laws are changed: "I think evil people will always find ways to do evil things, and I'm not sure necessarily making it hard for everyone to have a firearm is a way to fix that."

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