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Stores suspend rifle sales after Newtown tragedy

Stores suspend rifle sales after Newtown tragedy

Dick's Sporting Goods said Tuesday that they would suspend the sales of modern rifles from stores nationwide, and would remove all guns from stores near Newtown, Conn.

A statement posted to their website reads:

"We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community.  Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.  We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy."

It is unknown as to how long the suspension will last.

Mel Bernstein, owner of Dragonman's in El Paso County, said he is one of the largest retailers of assault rifles and does not plan on pulling the guns from his shelves.

"The law-abiding citizens deserve to have the right to own these kinds of guns," said Bernstein.

He told KRDO Newschannel 13 that he has seen record sales at his shop, selling 44 guns on Sunday alone.

According to Bernstein, the reason behind the spike in sales is the idea that assault rifles will soon be banned. 

"(The President) has a lot of pressure on him.  He has to do something to make everybody happy, and unfortunately he's looking at the assault rifle bill," said Bernstein.

There is no ban in place currently, but Bernstein said rifle distributors are already cutting back.

"They say there's a lockdown.  They can't send out any assault rifles until they get the OK by the ATF and the ATF is waiting to hear from the government," said Bernstein.

KRDO Newschannel 13 tried to contact the ATF for comment, but did not receive an answer.

Unlike Dick's Sporting Goods, Bernstein will not be pulling rifles off of his shelf and said he does not believe banning rifles is the best option.

"It'll create more crime.  It hurts the law-abiding citizens that should be able to own anything they want in America.  It's going to kill the jobs when the manufacturers can't make more guns.  It's going to hurt, hurt, hurt everybody," said Bernstein.

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