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El Paso gun class attendance skyrockets after mass killing — and gun sales double

El Paso gun class attendance skyrockets after mass killing — and gun sales double

'I want to be able to protect myself'

Following the recent mass killing in El Paso, Texas, the general manager of Gun Central — among the largest gun stores in the city — told Reuters the number of people attending his concealed carry classes skyrocketed.

"I have over 50 for this Saturday['s] class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven," Michael McIntyre told the outlet last week.

He also told Reuters that Gun Central's sales doubled — mostly handguns — during the week after the mass killing, which didn't happen after previous mass killings in Texas.

'I want to be able to protect myself'

"We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting," McIntyre told the outlet. "The other people are just saying, 'Hey, you know I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.'"

Guadalupe Segovia was at the class with her two children and told Reuters that her husband — who's in the military — had been urging her for a long time to get a concealed carry license.

Segovia, 35, added to the outlet that the recent mass killing in her own backyard gave her a sense of urgency: "I'm still going to be scared, even carrying a weapon."

Reuters said the vast majority of class attendees were Hispanic — and that police said the accused gunman deliberately attacked Hispanics in the Walmart.

But Segovia also told the outlet she wants laws that make it harder for young people to get guns.

"I think weapons should be a privilege and for safety, not to go and kill people," she said.

More from Reuters:

Gun control is definitely not on the horizon for Texas, where Governor Greg Abbot recently signed into law nine bills, backed by the National Rifle Association, that will loosen up gun regulations starting on Sept. 1.

One of the new laws lifts a ban on carrying firearms in places of worship. That ban came after a gunman fatally shot 26 people at a church in Sutherland Springs. Another stops landlords from prohibiting firearms on their rental properties.

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