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Anticipating ban, gun enthusiasts seek high powered weapons

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Across the state, gun shops report increased sales of military-style guns, semi-automatic rifles and assault-style weapons. Concern that access to these weapons may be limited in the future appears to drive the interest among gun enthusiasts. There have been renewed calls for restrictions on these weapons in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Ct.

The Duluth News Tribune reports that Superior Shooters Supply has sold out of the high powered weapons. The owner, Pat Kukull, said it's the highest demand for the guns that she's seen in her 35 years in business.

“I despise the term ‘panic buying,’ but I don’t have any other word for it. We’re out of them,” said Kukull.

In Grand Rapids, Glen’s Army Navy Store in Grand Rapids also reports running out of the weapons.

Meanwhile, the president of the Northland Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said most Americans don’t own guns. She thinks momentum is growing for a ban on assault-style weapons and large-capacity magazines.

“My husband is a deer hunter. You don’t need assault rifles to hunt deer," said Joan Peterson of Duluth. “I don’t care how fun they say these assault rifles are to shoot. Children are dying.”

The Mankato Free Press reports a slight increase in those seeking gun permits in the southern part of the state. The paper quotes Le Sueur County Sheriff Tom Doherty, who suspects the interest comes from people who anticipate some kinds of firearms may become before illegal to buy.

“It’s going to have a lot of people up in arms,” he said.

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