NEWPORT BEACH ( — People have been crowding gun stores across Orange County following the Conn. elementary school massacre.

Emily Atkinson, the owner of Ade’s Gun Shop (also known as Em & M Guns) in Orange, said business at the store has been up 80 percent since Friday’s tragedy.

“As soon as something comes in, it’s sold 15 minutes later,” she said. “I’ve seen record numbers of women now coming into our store and literally buying rifles and handguns. And they’re in their 70s.”

Meantime, the National Rifle Association released a statement Tuesday about the Newtown shootings that said, in part, “Out of respect for the families, and as a matter of common decency, we have given time for mourning, prayer and a full investigation of the facts before commenting. The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to make sure this never happens again.”

Gun buyer Greg Baetz said he hopes the NRA’s “contributions” will amount to cracking down on gun owners who don’t responsibly store their firearms.

“(The Conn. shooter’s mother) had a mentally unstable person in her life and she chose to bring those weapons into her home and unsecure them,” he said.

Charles Blek, the president of the OC chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said he wants the NRA to establish responsible gun control policies.

“I would love to see the NRA say, ‘Yes, we need to work with everybody else and keep dangerous weapons out of dangerous hands,’” Blek said.

The NRA plans to hold a “major news conference” in Washington, D.C., on Friday.


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