STAUNTON, Va -- Nuckols Gun Works employee Jeff Garza has one question for the alleged shooter in a massacre that left more than a dozen dead at a theater in Colorado.
“Why? That's the big thing. Why did someone go out there and kill innocent people for no reason at all?” asked Garza.
Delegate Dickie Bell supports gun rights and he said tragedies like this are hard to prevent.
“I hate it when it happens,” said Bell. “I'm sure everybody does. The tragic nature of it is just almost too much to bear. The bottom line of the fact is if there are people out there who would do this kind of harm to their fellow citizens, they'll get the means to do it.”
Gun owner Jason Wayts agreed. He and his wife headed to Nuckols Gun Works in Staunton where they decided to look into buying a new gun after hearing about the shootings.
“You never know when the opportunity will present itself to protect yourself or your family,” said Wayts.
Garza said background checks to buy a gun only help out so much, especially when guns get into the wrong hands.
“You're sorry for what happened, but I don't see how they could hold us responsible for it or anything like that. It's a sad thing and it shouldn't have happened,” said Garza.
Gun store employees said they saw a 25-percent increase in women buying guns that are small and compact, but they also said they saw an increase in sales for men and women across the board.
Bell said more gun legislation would not necessarily prevent mass shootings from happening.
The gun store workers said they typically do sell more guns after shootings like the one in Colorado.