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Hoosier gun shops weigh in on Aurora shooting

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Movie theater shooting suspect James Holmes carried four guns into that Aurora, Colo., movie theater. Sources say he bought those four guns legally, over the last several months, at Bass Pro Shops and Gander Mountain stores. He was also wearing tactical gear, assault-style equipment that was easy to find online.

As gun owner Travis Groce took shots at a target at the gun range, the overnight shooting in Colorado was still fresh in his mind.

“It is horrific,” said gun owner Travis Groce. “I can not believe it, I just do not understand people some days. I do not understand the concept of it. It makes no sense to me.”

Police said 12 people were killed and 59 others after Holmes opened fire at a movie theater.  He was carrying an assault rifle, two handguns and a shotgun.

In order for someone to walk out of the store with a gun, instead of just shooting it on the range, they have to fill out a form called a 4473. It goes straight to the FBI and the person is either approved on the spot, or the process is delayed so more checking can be done.

Mike Hilton, with Family Indoor Shooting Range said the form is the same, no matter which gun someone decides to buy.

“Single-shot shotgun, semi-automatic shotgun, it makes no difference,” said Mike Hilton with Family Indoor Shooting Range. “[It] does not make any difference if it is pretty walnut, or intimidating black plastic, it is all the same paperwork.”

If Holmes wanted to get his gear online, he wouldn’t have to go far. A quick web search turned up tear gas, body armor, a gas mask, even an assault rifle. The items are all for sale, all within a click of the mouse.

“You can do some of the things online these days, but you still have to get your fingerprints, cannot have a criminal background, anything like that,” said Groce.

Lawyer Guy Relford said there are not any limitations as to how many guns you can buy in Indiana, but it has been a hot topic statewide. Relford said for violent felons and people accused of domestic battery or violent, it is almost impossible to get a firearm.

“I think there are well focused laws in Indiana today,” said Relford.  “Unfortunately when a situation, like Colorado, the immediate reaction is, ‘oh gosh, we need less guns.’”

For Groce, the tragedy that happened more than a thousand miles away reinforces his decision to carry.

“Safety is my number one thing when it comes to my family and you just never know what people are going to do these days,” said Groce.