LAS VEGAS -- In the wake of recent gun violence, weapon sales are soaring.
Manufacturers say gun enthusiasts are racing to buy firearms because they are concerned legislation could soon restrict their right to carry.
Right now, thousands of buyers are in Las Vegas for one of the country's largest gun shows.
The Shot Show started Tuesday and is expected to draw 67,000 people. It is only open to buyers, manufacturers and dealers.
Manufacturers say because of the big push for gun control, people aren't just buying to protect themselves.
Hunting and target shooting has increased significantly, creating literally thousands of buying options.
For Las Vegas shooter Kyle Hoffman, sport shooting is the special time he gets to share with his father.
"We spend three, four hours just shooting. Guy time," Hoffman said.
At the Shot Show, Hoffman's anxious to see the latest models for 2014. There are seemingly endless options.
Buyers say the conceal-carry market is hot right now and so are specialized rifles.
"These guns, you pick them up and they're super light weight," Hoffman said.
Manufacturers say buyers like Hoffman and their families are fueling growing gun sales across the country.
"I would see grandmothers and grandsons shooting competitively together. I would see fathers and daughters," Mountie Mizer with Beretta USA Firearm Manufacturer said.
"Now, they've gotten into target shooting, and they buy more guns," Mark Thomas with German gun maker Walther said.
However, manufacturers say the push for gun control is causing firearm owners to buy more in case restrictions tighten.
"All phases of guns are being purchased enthusiastically. Last year especially of because the events that happened," Thomas said.
Kitsen Goldberg and her daughter-in-law understand that only too well. They watched their home state of Colorado cope with the horrors of the Aurora movie theatre shooting.
"In Colorado, we've had so many shootings that it really makes you realize that you've got to defend yourself," Goldberg said.
Her daughter-in-law, whose family owns a small gun store, agrees.
"I think it has to do with a sense of power and whether or not you want to feel helpless in that situation," Alison Goldberg said.
Goldberg says she is selling a growing number of guns to women.
"They want to be able to have that ability to be able to carry and know what they're doing with it." Goldberg said.
Laurel Smith with legendary gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson says women are gravitating to light, conceal-carry weapons. The models aren't as intimidating as some of the larger firearms.
"They understand it is a responsibility to own a firearm and have a firearm in the home," Smith said. "When you can control your firearm a little bit better, you seem to have more confidence, and you really just enjoy the shooting experience a little bit better."
Whether it is for protection or sport, gun manufacturers do not expect sales to drop anytime soon.
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