Amid record sales, a call for restraint at gun shops

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CBS News

(CBS News) With the gun control debate raging in Washington, people are buying more guns than ever, prompting one senator on Sunday to make a direct appeal to the stores selling the guns.

Less than a month after the mass shooting in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school, gun shows across the country are drawing record numbers.

"We were expecting a large crowd, but we had no anticipation we'd have a crowd like this," said Bob Templeton with the Crossroads of the West Gun Shows.

Sales are soaring, triggered by concerns Congress soon will ban or limit assault weapons and some forms of ammunition.

On Sunday, New York Senator Chuck Schumer asked retailers to take action before Congress.

"Today, I'm urging our country's major gun retailers like Walmart and Sports Authority to suspend sales of modern assault-style weapons until Congress is able to fully consider and vote on legislation to curb gun violence," Schumer said.

This week, Vice President Biden is expected to release his report on guns.

Recommendations could include restrictions on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and background checks on all gun buyers.

National Rifle Association President David Keene predicted Sunday that an outright ban will not happen.

"I would say that the likelihood is that they are not going to be able to get an assault weapons ban through this Congress," Keene said.

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Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte signaled a possible compromise on background checks.

"I'm willing to listen to what proposals come forward on that, but again, I don't know that that wouldn't have stopped what happened in Newtown, and I think we need to be very thoughtful in how we go forward with what happens and make sure that whatever is done, actually, is a solution," Ayotte said.

Here's something to remember: What Biden delivers to the President will only be recommendations. It is be up to Congress to pass any legislation that would make those proposals a reality.

  • Jan Crawford
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    Jan Crawford is CBS News' chief legal correspondent and based in Washington, D.C.