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Newtown sees jump in gun permit applications

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) Applications for gun permits have jumped in Newtown, Conn., since a school massacre there revived the national debate on gun control and led to worries about new restrictions.

Newtown in recent years has issued about 130 gun permits annually. Police say the town received 79 permit applications in the three months since the Dec. 14 massacre, well over double the normal pace.

Robert Berkins, records manager for Newtown police, says many applicants are expressing concerns that their gun rights will be taken away.

Firearms sales have surged around the country, driven by Washington's new focus on gun control.

The killing of 20 first-graders and six staff members at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to proposals for universal background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

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