Locals stock up on rifles, ammo as gun control debate begins

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Dec. 17, 2012

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. -- The massacre in Connecticut has hit home for so many.

"You know, my soul and heart bleed for those people," said Thurman Hickman.

However, it's also the reason Hickman visited The Gun Rack after the tragedy.

"In the past week, I've purchased two AR-15s," he said.

It's the same gun police now say Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza used. It's a gun that Thurman believes could become illegal soon.

"The government is going to try to exploit it the best they can," he said.

On Sunday, Senator Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., said she'd reintroduce the assault weapons ban. Others are calling for smaller capacity magazines or even a total ban on guns altogether.

President Barack Obama has also hinted at what he called "meaningful action."

"These tragedies must end," the president said on Sunday. "And to end them, we must change."

"Every time the president opens his mouth, there's more of a rush to buy guns for a few days," said Chuck Scott, owner of The Gun Rack.

Scott has seen that rush at his Aiken store. He says he can't even keep track of how many AR-15s he has in stock.

"It is very fluid right now. We get ARs in daily. ARs are going out daily. We're lucky to keep an inventory. We have to struggle every day to keep an inventory of ARs," he said.

Scott says he's not opposed to some meaningful actions, like better background checks at gun shows. However, he, like Thurman, is opposed to banning weapons like AR-15s.

"I'm for protecting myself, my grandchildren, and my children and anybody I may be associated with at the time, if something happens. If somebody's trying to rob somebody or kill somebody, I want to step in," Thurman said.

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