Monday, January 14, 2013

Rampant gun and ammo buyers fear bans coming; rise in concealed-gun permit requests also seen

Gun sales soared after President Obama won re-election, and have hit new highs as a task force led by Vice President Biden conducted meetings about how to curb gun violence in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., massacre. "Sales are spiking . . . as people rush to expand their arsenals in advance of any restriction that might be imposed," Michael Cooper of The New York Times reports. (Casper Star-Tribune photo by Alan Rogers: Wall in Wyoming gun shop where military-style rifles were displayed)

"People were crowded five deep at the tiny counter of a gun shop near Atlanta, where a pastor from Knoxville, Tenn., was among the customers who showed up in person after the store’s Web site halted sales because of low inventory," Cooper writes. "Emptying gun cases and bare shelves gave a picked-over feel to gun stores in many states. High-capacity magazines, which some state and federal officials want to ban or restrict, were selling briskly across the country: one Iowa dealer said that 30-round magazines were fetching five times what they sold for just weeks ago." Gun dealers told Cooper this rush to stock up isn't likely to ease.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, criminal background checks increased by 58.6 percent in December, up to a record 2.2 million. Some gun dealers told Cooper they have never seen such high demand. (Read more)

Local news media all over the country have been doing stories about the gun-and-ammo rush. Kate Martin of the Skagit Valley Herald in Mount Vernon, Wash., is among those adding this angle: "Local law enforcement also has experienced a run on applications for concealed pistol licenses since the Newtown, Conn., shooting of 20 elementary students and six educators." (Read more)

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