TAMPA, Florida -- In the aftermath of the deadly shootings inside a Colorado movie theater, interest in owning a gun is on the rise in Florida.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement reports there were 2,386 gun-related background checks on Friday, the day of the killings. That'sa 14 percent increase over the week before.

The trend continued through Monday, with a 10 percent spike.

"There seems to be an elevated concern," said Fred Flesche, owner of Shooting Sports gun shop in Tampa.

Flesche told 10 News his store has been packed since Friday. He's seeing a lot of first-time gun buyers, motivated by fear. Flesche says that's typical after any mass shooting, but it's even more apparent in this case.

"It seems like people are a little bit more shaken up about it. That something as simple as a movie theater could create such a situation," he explained.

Scott Brenner, whose son was using the Shooting Sports gun range on Wednesday, says he doesn't mind people having weapons, but he's concerned about an influx of owners with no experience all of a sudden driven to protect themselves.

"There's more regulation on driving a car than there is on carrying something very dangerous and that scares me," Brenner said.

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who oversees the state's gun permit program, says it's not too easy to get a weapon.

"There continues to be an extraordinarily small number of concealed weapons license holders who break the law," Putnam said.

The Department of Agriculturereports it'sissuing 10,000 to 15,000 concealed weapons permits every month. At that pace, later this year Florida will become the first state to hand out more than one million concealed weapons permits.

Read or Share this story: