More people packing heat - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More people packing heat

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PASCO, Wash. - In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Colorado gun sales have surged across the United States.

While the gun-buying craze hasn't necessarily hit the Tri-Cities just yet, owner of Larsen Firearms, Leif Larson, said he sure hopes it does.

Larsen is a former police officer and said he knows all too well that being prepared can make all the difference in life and death situations.

"I think more people need to carry," said Larsen. "If there was somebody, even one guy, in that theatre who would have been carrying... The outcome could have been completely different."

In Colorado, the state approved background checks for nearly 3,000 people trying to buy a gun over the weekend. That's about 25% more than the average weekend. Background checks in Oregon and Washington also increased.

Larsen said the average Joe often buys a gun with good intentions: to protect themselves or their families. But when it comes time to pull the trigger, many aren't prepared.

"I would like to see people get some training so they can be more comfortable with it and make better decisions under stress," said Larsen.

Larsen said a weapons ban could be helped along by last week's shooting. However, he wants to know how dealers like him could prevent such a tragedy by profiling people who, often times, like James Holmes, appear to be ordinary citizens.

"In my opinion it has never been an issue of guns being the problem," said Larsen. "Guns aren't the problem. People, since the beginning of mankind have been the problem."