Dozens of El Paso residents — most of them Hispanic — have flocked to buy weapons and attend firearms classes at one of the city’s largest gun shops in the wake of the mass shooting that killed 22 people at a local Walmart.
Michael McIntrye, general manager at the Gun Central store said told Reuters Friday that his store tallied double its usual number of sales in the week following the Aug. 3 rampage.
Handguns, which can be strapped to the ankle or shoulder under clothing, accounted for most of the sales, the manager said.
“We actually had two people buy guns here who were actually in the Walmart on the day of the shooting,” McIntrye said. “The other people are just saying, ‘Hey, you know, I want to be able to protect myself in the event of something going on.’ This is not the last mass shooting we’re going to see.”
The shop also hosts classes for people interested in obtaining their concealed carry licenses — and the number of attendees has multiplied following the shooting, according to McIntrye.
“I have over 50 for this Saturday class and approximately the same amount for the Sunday class, and I normally have approximately seven,” McIntyre said.
Guadalupe Segovia, 35, was one of the attendees this past weekend. Her military husband had long pushed for her to get a concealed-carry license, she said. But following the attack, she felt even more motivated to attend the class.
“I’m still going to be scared, even carrying a weapon,” said Segovia.
El Paso is a predominantly Latino city that borders Mexico.
Patrick Crusius, 21, the man charged in connection to the Walmart shooting, told authorities he was targeting “Mexicans,” according to an arrest affidavit.
He is also believed to be the author of an online rant posted before the shooting that complained about the “Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
“I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion,” the rant reads.
Segovia, who has military training, said she’s already tried to get her sisters to practice shooting with her.
“It’s not just this one time that we have to keep coming to ranges and so you can feel familiarized with a weapon and be OK with it,” she said.
Even though Segovia is applying for her own concealed-carry license, she said more needs to be done to protect the public. She’d like to see tighter gun laws enacted, to make it harder for young people to obtain firearms.
“I think weapons should be a privilege and for safety, not to go and kill people,” she said.
With Post Wires
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