The deadly shooting at the Colorado movie theatre has renewed the debate about America’s relationship with guns.
President Barack Obama and his republican rival Mitt Romney have expressed their sorrow for the victims but have failed to say anything about gun control; a subject known to be toxic with voters.
In Denver, residents are allowed to keep guns in homes, offices and vehicles, but can only carry them in public with a permit.
Gun store manager, Richard Taylor, said: “In Colorado, in order to purchase a hand gun you have to be a Colorado resident, over the age of 21, and then pass a criminal background check. Some days it can take five or 10 minutes, other times it can take a couple of hours, but it is an instant background check.”
Police have said the suspected gunman, identified as James Holmes, legally bought the weapons he used in the attack. Anti-gun campaigners say a new national policy on gun control is needed but Taylor does not think that will make a difference.
He said: “I don’t think a complete ban on firearms will take away firearms from everybody or have prevented the tragedy. He would have probably found some other way, he may have taken a five gallon can of gas into the theater and set fire to it, who knows.”
The Columbine massacre, 27 kilometers from the scene of Friday’s shooting, resulted in increased school security and laws were passed making it a crime to buy guns for criminals and minors.
A poll in April found most Americans supported the right to use deadly force to protect themselves – making the case to bring about changes to gun laws unlikely.