Handgun sales are hot, likely triggered by recent news coverage of the Santa Barbara massacre and the Seattle college rampage.
"Every time there's a mass shooting, it calls to attention people's need to get some sort of personal protection strategy and, maybe get a firearm," says Dave Newman, Owner/Instructor at Concealed Carry NOLA.
Concealed Carry NOLA is a group of three NRA-certified pistol instructors registered with the Louisiana State Police Concealed Handgun Unit, licensed and insured to instruct citizens in defensive shooting techniques.
Newman says people get more concerned about both personal safety and the right to bear arms every time there's major incident. It happened after the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012.
"I think part of it is that they come to the realization that a lot can happen before the police get there," Newman says. "It's no knock on the police, but you're on your own until they actually get there, no matter how fast you dial 911."
The gun boom is being seen, primarily in compact pistols for self-defense.
"They're easier to conceal," says Newman. "They're lighter weight, so they tend to carry them more than if they were a heavier gun or a larger gun."
Smith & Wesson's handgun sales jumped by nearly a third at the end of last year, and Colt Manufacturing sold twelve times as many handguns early this year as it did in 2013. Colt is now moving to boost its handgun production by 50 percent.
That doesn't surprise Newman.
"I've noticed over the last few years, we've had an increase in the production of handgun caliber cartridges for those guns, trying to keep up with the demand. People have had a hard time finding the ammunition in stores, so they increased the production of that and now they're increasing the production of the handguns themselves."
Sales of compact pistols are growing at double the rate of handguns overall.
"Most attacks happen really close, so you don't really need a gun with a really long barrel," Newman says. "The longer the barrel, though, the greater the accuracy at a distance."
"But, eighty-five percent of attacks are happening within fifteen feet. So, a short barrel works and, uh, it does the job."
However, he says it's the job of a gun owner, and any potential gun buyer to be properly trained.
"A lot of people think they're ready just because they have a nice, tight grip. When you're under stress things kind of go out the window. So you need to get a little more training, you need to practice under stress. Instructors can help you do that."
Newman says safety should always be a gun owner's main priority.
"Child access prevention is very important. People buy guns and they put them in odd places...just in the top drawer or up high in a closet, thinking their kids can't get to it. But, that's not true. They see mommy and daddy do things and they copy everything you do. So, as a gun owner, you're main job is to make sure nobody else gets a hold of that gun unless they're supposed to. And that should only be you or your significant other, if they have the proper training."