Gun sales strong in fear of government mandate

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thomas Calhoun, owner of Troy Sport Shop, has seen a rise in the sale of AR, or Armalite, guns, pistols and ammunition. The AR guns are semi-automatic or fully automatic firearms.

Across the nation, guns and ammunition are flying off of store shelves at near record levels, and Troy is no different.

Since the incident at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. last Friday, sales of handguns and AR ammunition have been strong at both Troy Sport Shop and Dunn’s True Value Hardware.

Mark Dunn, owner of Dunn’s True Value Hardware, said that the recent surge in gun purchases is due in large part to the public being fearful of government action against gun sales.

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“There were some fears before the election,” said Dunn. “And now with the recent events, our sales have gone up. We have had more gun inquires in the last three days than in the previous few weeks combined.”

Dunn also said that a recent customer purchased nearly $700 in ammunition, including a quick reload apparatus.

“People are a little scared right now,” said Dunn. “Ammunition is almost impossible to order, and we keep getting customers.”

Outside of the Sandy Hook shooting, two gun crimes took place in the state of Alabama over the weekend.

On Saturday, an early-morning shooting at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham left a gunman dead and three people, including a Birmingham police officer, injured.

In another incident in Oxford the same day, police shot and killed a gunman after a pursuit that began with a triple slaying in Cleburne County.

Thomas Calhoun, owner of Troy Sport Shop, said that he has seen a slight change from his normal gun sales.

“We have had a little change this year,” said Calhoun. “We are seeing more of a lean to the AR style gun and away from the hunting rifles. We aren’t selling more dollars worth of guns, just selling more guns. Or we were until we ran out.”

Gun control laws have been a hot button issue since last weekend’s incidents, prompting a response from President Barack Obama.

Appealing to gun owners, Obama said he believes in the Second Amendment and the country’s strong tradition of gun ownership. And he said, “The vast majority of gun owners in America are responsible.”

“I am also betting that the majority, the vast majority, of responsible law-abiding gun owners would be some of the first to say that we should be able to keep an irresponsible, law-breaking few from buying a weapon of war,” Obama said.

Obama has created an administration-wide effort to create the new recommendations and also pledged to push for their implementation without delay. The effort will be headed up by Vice President Joe Biden.