(KMOV) -- In the days after a mass shooting that killed six people and wounded 13 more, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, some local gun shop owners report a spike in gun sales.
"I think it's a huge contributing factor. I think a lot of people realize those events are real and those events can happen anywhere," said Paul Bastean.
Bastean owns "Ultimate Defense", a gun shop and gun range in St. Peters. He is also Sargent in the Lake St. Louis Police Department.
Bastean says new gun owners are signing up for concealed carry classes. His classes are now booked through the end of February.
Bastean that before he opened his gun shop, he taught concealed carry classes and would see a spike in interest immediately following mass shooting events like the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, Ft. Hood in 2009, and at ABB in St. Louis last year.
Solid numbers on why people seek out licenses to carry handguns are hard to come by. No one has to give a reason for applying for a concealed carry permit, but St. Louis and Jefferson Counties both report that the most recent spike in applications around 2008 and into 2009, during the last presidential election year. Many feared that the election of President Barack Obama would lead to a ban on some weapons.
Bastean is sees similar concerns today. He says the hottest selling gun this week is a Glock 19, the same type of gun the shooting suspect in Arizona uses last Saturday.
"What they're afraid of is because the guy used a Glock 19, they're going to ban these," said Bastean.
"It's an unfounded fear, but a lot of people have that fear," he added.
On short-notice this afternoon, St. Louis County was able to provide News 4 with total concealed carry license applications over the last three years.
In 2008, 2,690 applied for a license to carry a concealed weapon in St. Louis County. In 2009, the number jumped to 4072. In 2010, the number of applications fell to 3,601.
In Jefferson County, 947 people applied for licenses in 2008. The number rose to 1,515 in 2009 and then dropped to 1,272 in 2010. That's much higher than the 343 who applied for licenses in 2005.