Seeking Protection, Homeowners Arm Themselves - 8 News NOW

Seeking Protection, Homeowners Arm Themselves

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LAS  VEGAS -- Gun store owners said many people decide to buy a gun after experiencing or hearing about a home invasion.

Sales have gone through the roof since the proposal of gun control laws.

But many gun buyers said it's not what's going on in Washington, D.C., that led them to buying a firearm. It's what happened in their own backyards.

On Saturday, a Las Vegas man at home with his wife and children shot a bank robber trying to jump through his window.

Less than 48 hours later, Metro Police said a 72-year-old man shot and killed one of the people trying to rob him in his home.

In another case, Frank Ivkovich wasn't home when someone kicked his door in, but his wife was.

"The door swung open, hit the backstop, and she put all her weight and slammed the guys hand in the door and he took off," said Frank Ivkovich, a new gun owner.

He bought his first gun just a couple months ago, shortly after the attempted break-in.

"Her family wasn't big on getting a gun, but when what happened to us, their dad went out and got one, too," he said.

Bob Irwin, owner of the Gun Store, said 30 percent of his new customers get firearms because they don't feel safe after experiencing or hearing about a home invasion.

He said many of the new gun buyers are signing up for his concealed carry weapons class, which are booked through March.

"We had been doing twice a week," Irwin said. "We've increased that to three times a week. Now we've increased it to four times a week."

Doreen Hammer was 7 years old when a man broke into her home and attacked her mother. She said she has owned handguns for years, but she's now buying a shotgun for added protection.

"Because 911 isn't going to be there right away," she said of her decision to arm herself. "They're going to do the best they can to get there, but they're just not going to be there right away."

Ivkovich took his wife to the shooting range so she could learn to use the new gun.

"I think as a man that's my duty to protect my wife, even when I'm not home," he said.

He said they both feel safer owning the gun.

Irwin said about half the people taking the concealed weapons class recently bought their first gun.

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