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Demand for gun permits soars in Newtown after school shooting

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April 2, 2013: Brian O'Connor of Newtown, Conn., fills out paperwork to purchase a Glock 10mm pistol at Chris' Indoor Shooting Range in Guilford, Conn. (Reuters)

In the months following the Newtown, Conn., school shooting that left 26 people dead, the number of residents seeking permits to purchase firearms has surged, according to local authorities.

The New York Daily News reports that requests for gun permits in are on track to double this year over last year in Newtown, where 20 first-graders and six educators were killed in the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

An unidentified law enforcement official told the newspaper that in 2012, 177 gun permit applications were filed with the Newtown Police Department, up 75 percent from the 99 filed in 2011.The department has already had 211 permit requests this year.

Connecticut's firearms industry has been embattled since the December shooting. The state then adopted a package of gun control measures that are considered among the strictest in the nation. They include an expanded assault weapons ban, additional background checks gun purchases and ammunition purchases, and a ban on large-capacity ammunition magazines.

In June, Connecticut gun manufacturer PTR Industries said it is moving to South Carolina after Connecticut state lawmakers passed stricter gun control laws in response to the Sandy Hook school shootings. The company's plant near Myrtle Beach will employ 140 people, many of whom will relocate from Connecticut over three years.

Southport, Conn.-based Sturm, Ruger said Tuesday it will open a new factory in Mayodan, North Carolina, to meet firearm demand that has spiked since Congress and some states sought to toughen gun controls. The community is already headquarters to Freedom Group Inc., which owns Bushmaster, Remington and other firearms brands.

Prosecutors said earlier this month that a report on the investigation into the shooting will be released in the fall. State police are leading the investigation, which also involves several federal agencies.

The lone gunman, 20-year-old Adam Lanza, killed his mother at their Newtown home, then fatally shot 20 first-graders and six educators at the school before killing himself as police arrived.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here for more from the New York Daily News.