SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- This is certainly not the first time in recent years that people have rushed to buy guns before any new legislation restricts them, but this time is setting records across the country. Two neighbors in the firearms industry are selling guns like it's 1934.
"In order to respond to some of the gangster activity, laws were passed so none of those weapons were able to be owned by the general public."
Nick Newman says laws tightened again in 1964, shortly after President Kennedy was assasinated, then again in 1994 under President Clinton, and when President Obama was elected in 2008 firearms went flying off the shelves based on fear alone.
Almost overnight in 2012, thanks to the Connecticut shooting, that fear got legs and people got guns, mostly assault-style rifles but everything's hot.
"People were already expecting and waiting for the other shoe to drop, and now it's going to happen like right now," Newman said.
Couple in a few other factors -- "There's Christmas, post election, the end of the world is Friday," joked Brandon Reynolds of Gunsmoke.
Gun dealers in Springfield are happy to help Americans repeat history. Both local gun stores say they have sold five times as many guns as usual even for this time of year. At least 20 percent of those sales, or one in five, are to people who are first-time buyers.
Mark O'Dell is not.
"They've just always kind of been a part of my life," the collector said.
"Mostly handguns and shotguns, a few rifles, some inherited weapons," he said of the small collection.
He wasn't buying on Wednesday, according to his wife: "because she took my credit card."
But he found himself wanting to window shop. The elementary school teacher has a conceal-and-carry permit and an intensified need to feel safe.
"It makes it a little more real," said O'Dell.
The dealers say O'Dell was lucky to get in the door.
"It's just been wall to wall," Newman said.
Welcome back to 1934.
"There was a huge initial surge and then it leveled off," he said.
And that's what the experts say will likely happen this time. Both stores say they've sold most of their bulk ammunition and high capacity magazines. They're also having trouble getting through to the FBI for background checks by phone before they can make a sale.
Another product seeing a major spike in sales is armored backpacks. They retail for about $400, and they have a bullet proof insert.