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Fewer gun-buyers in Conn., Stamford gun show goes on despite protests

WASHINGTON (AP) An Associated Press analysis finds that background checks for gun sales and permits to carry guns surged at the end of 2012.

But people in Connecticut and Colorado, scenes of the deadliest U.S. mass shootings last year, were less enthusiastic about buying new guns than people in most other states. The biggest surges in occurred in the South and West.

The latest FBI figures reflect huge increases across the U.S. in the number of background checks following President Barack Obama's re-election, the school shooting in Connecticut and Obama's promise to support new laws aimed at curbing gun violence.

Nationally, there were nearly twice as many background checks for firearms between November and December than during the same time period in 2011.

Gun buyers and protesters converged in Stamford for the first gun show in Connecticut since the Dec. 14 shooting rampage that killed 20 children and six educators in Newtown.

The Advocate of Stamford reports that many who attended the eighth annual East Coast Fine Arms Show on Saturday said it was about collectible antique weapons, not guns like the one used in the school massacre.

Several gun shows in the area were canceled in the aftermath of the shootings. But Westchester Collectors Inc., of Mahopac Falls, N.Y., decided to go on with the Stamford show as scheduled.

Mayor Michael Pavia says canceling the show would have been more sensitive.

More than 50 protesters holding signs supporting gun control and banning assault rifles gathered across from the hotel where the show was staged.

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Jill Schlesinger

Local Headlines