Southeast Texans head to gun shops - South Texas, Corpus Christi, Coastal Bend

Southeast Texans head to gun shops in wake of Connecticut tragedy

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In response to the tragedy in Connecticut and the potential for new gun laws passed in it's shadow, many Southeast Texans appear to be racing to the gun shops. They say they want to protect their families and make sure they have what they need before any new gun laws are passed.

Local gun enthusiasts and survivalists are stocking up. JJ's Pawn Shop in Beaumont has been busy since the election, but Jim Hedrick says business has "picked up" over the weekend, following the tragedy in Connecticut, "Most of the people buying AR's and handguns, I don't find it much different. They're either young people with a family, or they're people 50 and over. They seem to be the ones doing the purchasing."

John Tucker has been a gun owner and enthusiast for more than 20 years and owns more than 10 guns. Monday he says he purchased one more, "I own two different kinds of assault rifles and hopefully with in the next couple of days, I'll be getting one more."

He says this purchase is in response to Friday's tragedy that may lead to stronger gun laws, "Before they start taking more stuff away, I decided to come in and get more of the equipment I need to protect my family."

The mother of the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut was an avid gun owner and collector who reportedly had a survivalist's mentality. Police say her son used three of Nancy Lanza's weapons to kill 27 people and himself.

But Tucker says this tragedy is not the result of her gun ownership, "I say a 100,000 times, it's not the guns that are hurting innocent people. It's not the assault weapon, or the high powered rifle, or the hand guns that people are carrying. It's people that are disturbed that have that want to hurt people that's doing it."

So while some in congress take aim at controlling gun ownership, gun enthusiasts are making sure they are ready just in case someone tries to hurt them.