Fla. gun sales highest in nation, spark debate
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- The Sunshine State has just granted its one millionth concealed weapons permit, making it the top gun seller in the country.
Gun sales in Florida have increased in the wake of last Friday's Newtown, Conn. massacre. "In a perfect world, guns would not exist," said gun owner Michael Greenlaw, "but in this country there are 350 million firearms, and it's not feasible to think that somehow, some way we're going to disarm this nation."
Following the Sandy Hook school massacre, gun sales are booming. "People are buying assault rifles, AR-15 magazines and more handguns than usual," said Walter Philbrick, owner of 911 Guns in Hollywood, Fla. "Me and my store staff would prefer not to have high gun sales than 20 kids alive in Connecticut, believe me," he added.
The most popular rifle in America, the AR-15 assault rifle, is the same gun Adam Lanza used to shoot 20 children and seven adults in Friday's Newtown, Conn. massacre.
Philbrick showed 7News a pile of sealed cardboard boxes containing applications for gun possession. "We've got about ten boxes, maybe 2,000 applications," he said.
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam insisted the majority of gun owners in the state use their weapons safely. "Responsible use of these licenses is overwhelmingly the rule, and with 0.3 percent of licenses having been revoked for inappropriate use, I think the statistics support that," he said.
According to paralyzed gun victim Johnathan Harden, these instances are 0.3 percent too many. "I was shot twice in the throat 36 years ago with a .45 weapon," he revealed.
Harden, who sells peanuts outside the Broward County Courthouse, supports the anti-gun movement now rallying in Washington, DC. When confronted with the argument that it's people, not guns, who kill people, he replied, "Let them tell that to the people in Newtown."
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