12 INVESTIGATES: Gun sales in most of U.S. rising; not in VA

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - After the Colorado shooting, gun sales have risen around the country — but not in Virginia.

The State Police do the background checks when you buy a gun at a store.

And in the five days after the theater massacre, spokesperson Corrine Geller said the agency has not seen a rush of people buying guns.

After Columbine in 1999, after Virginia Tech in 2007, and after Tucson, Arizona, gun sales spiked in the days that followed a shooting rampage.

Gun sales in Colorado and around the country have reportedly spiked this week — but not in the Commonwealth. The phone lines at the Virginia Firearms Transaction Center haven't been ringing off the hook.

That's not to say gun sales aren't higher than normal in Virginia.

According to the State Police — Virginia's had a 22-percent spike in background checks for guns in 2012 when compared to the same time period in 2011.

Between January and June, the state preformed more than 180,000 background checks for new guns.

So, why the rise in gun purchases after mass shootings? Gun dealers theorize it's for self-protection, but also because of fear — particularly when politicians start talking about enacting new gun restrictions.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.