by Peter Mertz
DENVER, the United States, Nov.7, (Xinhua) -- Gun dealers across America had record sales because of Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton's stance on gun control and her lead in the polls on the eve of Tuesday's presidential election.
"We saw it with both Obama elections. Sales jumped the month before, and now we're seeing it again," said George LeBlanc, owner of The Gun Shop in Lakewood, a suburb of Denver.
Gun store owners across Denver followed national trends in October and saw record sales, when 2.3 million background checks for gun-related purchases were processed, setting an all-time monthly record, according to the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.
"It happens every time a gun-control liberal may win the presidency," LeBlanc told Xinhua.
On Monday, one day before the presidential election, a CNN poll had Clinton enjoying a 4 point national lead. Another recent poll by the Washington Post-ABC News gave the Democrat a 5 point lead.
While the two presidential candidates differed on many issues, they were very far apart on gun control.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said mass shootings would be reduced if more people were armed, a position echoed by the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA) that supported many conservative Republican politicians.
Although most NRA members support expanded background checks to limit criminals and mentally ill people from buying handguns, the organization's leadership is opposed to any gun restrictions, saying the second amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was drafted in 1789, allows citizens to bear arms.
Clinton vowed to curb the rampant gun violence plaguing America, which kills 40,000 people each year.
The possibility of a Clinton victory, plus the Democrats taking control of the U.S. Senate, has created fear among conservatives that some sort of gun control may happen in Washington soon.
There are currently 300 million guns in the United States, and Colorado is a state with many die-hard gun owners.
"In the past, we've seen large numbers of people buying assault weapons on the eve of an election, but this year, most people are buying handguns...lots of Glocks going out the door," said LeBlanc.
At Cabalas Sporting Goods in Thornton, a suburb north of Denver, sales reached peaks for the past month, and especially the weekend before the election, but not on Monday.
"I think people have armed themselves and didn't wait until the last minute," said Cabalas employee Tom Fink.
The July 2012 Aurora theater shooting, in which a crazed gunman killed 12 people and injured 70, triggered two modest gun-control measures in Colorado the following year.
But the measures met with stiff resistance across the state. Bullet manufacturer Magpul Industries left Colorado, worrying about further gun control restrictions; and local sheriffs refused to enforce the magazine-size restriction, saying it made no sense.
"We already have background checks," argued Trump supporter Derrick Hanson, 35, a commercial contractor owning 12 guns. "Every time I buy a gun they run the background check and everything I've ever done comes up, even a speeding ticket. They work fine."
Hanson, who said he had no problem registering his guns, voted for Trump, primarily because he thought Clinton would take away his guns.
In Colorado's pro-gun climate, even many liberals were against gun control.
"That is the one thing that worries me about Clinton," said Patrick Cassie, who runs a garage in Glenwood Springs, 200 km west to Denver.
"I am going to vote for her, but I hope she doesn't start imposing strict gun control measures."