Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting: Americans and Guns

Pierre Thomas looks into the spotlight the Connecticut shooting has placed on America's thriving gun community.
2:09 | 12/16/12

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Transcript for Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting: Americans and Guns
senseless slaughter, the latest in a long string of mass shootings in america has re-opened the politically explosive subject of gun control and the second amendment. Abc's pierre thomas who is our senior justice correspondent has been looking into it. Good morning, dan. So many disturbing questions but this event has put a spotlight on america's thriving gun culture. The statistics are staggering. On black friday, u.S. Shoppers were not just buying toys and electronics but guns in record numbers. On that single day the fbi did computerized background checks on more than 154,000 purchases of firearms. And in november alone, americans tried to buy a whopping 2 million guns. Here's some fact that is might surprise you. There are more registered gun dealers in stores than major supermarkets. More gun sellers than McDONALD'S RESTAURANTS. The overwhelming majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens but authorities tell abc news the millions of guns in circulation guarantee that disturbed people will often be able to obtain them even in tight-knit communities like newtown. We spoke to atf's on-scene commander to newtown. In roughly how many gun dealers are in this area. There are about 400 gun dealers in a four-counter area just within ten miles of the incident there are 36. Reporter: In the case of adam lanza law enforcement authorities tell us the two handguns and assault rifle used in the 14509ing were bought legally. In america unless you have a felony conviction or you're adjudicated by a court to be mentally incompetent, you have ready access to firearms. Reporter: Lanza joins the ranks jared lee loughner, james holmes and the virginia tech shooter and this morning the nation is left with a perplexing question how do you keep weapons from men like these when there are estimated 200 million plus guns already in circulation? Dan, there's simply no easy answers. Reporter: No, and this is an explosive issue.Ow you'll be talking about

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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