Last week’s cinema shooting in Colorado, which left 12 people dead, was the latest gun massacre to rock America.
Crime involving firearms claims 30,000 lives a year in the US, according to one set of figures.
Since the rampage in Aurora, which happened during a screening of the new Batman film, the number of people seeking to buy guns has surged.
“The day after I showed up and there was about 15 people standing out here waiting to get in,” said Brandon Baker, Owner of ‘Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo’ shop in Colorado.
Requests for firearms training are also said to have gone up.
“The incident opened my eyes to what is really going on out there,” said gun shop customer David Soder.
Nearly 2900 people were cleared to buy a gun last weekend, an increase of more than 40 per cent on the previous weekend.
In 1977, just over half of households in America had a firearm. In 2010, it stood at 32 percent.
However, it is estimated there could be up to 300 million weapons in circulation, enough for nearly everyone in the US to arm themselves.
According to prosecutors, suspected Aurora gunman James Holmes bought his weapons and ammunition legally.
It is alleged he went to the cinema with two
handguns, a shotgun and an assault rifle.
What happened in Aurora has reignited America’s gun ownership debate. However, in the run-up to the presidential election, politicians are unlikely to announce any policy changes.
“I hope that over the next several days, next several weeks and next several months, we all reflect on how we can do something about some of the senseless violence that ends up marring this country,” Obama said.
In April, Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney pledged to defend America’s lawful gun owners.
“We need a president who will stand up for the rights of hunters, sportsmen, and those who seek to protect their homes and families. President Obama has not. I will,” Mitt Romney said.
While Romney may be seeking to court the votes of gun owners, those mourning in Aurora may well take a different view about the future control of firearms.