Smith & Wesson reported a 43% rise in gun sales over last year, with purchases way up during the last quarter (which happened after the Newtown shooting) by 38%. While overall gun sales are difficult to track, the nine of the ten days with the highest rate of background checks in history were recorded after December's shooting. Background checks are a requirement for some gun purchases.
Sales also soared after the July shooting in a theater in Aurora, Colorado, as well as after the re-election of President Obama.
The December massacre in Sandy Hook set off a series of legislative proposals at the state and federal level. And while some states have been able to push through more restrictive gun laws in the six months after Sandy Hook, gun control debate in congress has hit a virtual dead-end, with a bill that would have widened background checks failing in the Senate back in April.