Gun shops sales rise in wake of shooting
The tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn. that claimed the lives of 20 children and six faculty have sparked gun control debates across the nation.
With gun discussions in the news, local gun shops are seeing an increase in traffic. The new customers seem to be focusing on military style rifles like the AR-15 used by shooter Adam Lanza in Connecticut.
Owner of Fulmer's Sporting Goods, Dale Fulmer, said on Thursday that there are currently no AR-15 rifles left in his store, and there is no way to order more.
"Before the shooting happened, we looked at the online inventory of AR-15's and saw there were about 100 available to be sent to us. The day after the shooting occurred, all of those were gone ... they were no longer on the screen," Fulmer explained.
Fulmer noted that five years ago, there was little interest in military style rifles and he rarely, if ever stocked them. But he said that "within the last five years sales on these rifles have taken off. We started stocking them and sold a few, but in the past week we have sold every one we had."
This is not the first time a highly publicized event has caused a gun buying craze across the nation. After President Obama's first election a similar buying run was made on AR-15 rifles, but no legislation was ever passed regarding the guns.
"I don't think this situation is hype. What happened at that school was a terrible tragedy and we are going to see changes in gun laws. It is inevitable," Fulmer said.
When asked his opinion on the gun control debate, Fulmer said, "I think what happened is a result of society, not the gun that was used."
Alexander's Gun Shop in Sayre has seen the same increase in sales for military style rifles, ammunition, and handguns as well. Owner Deborah Alexander could only describe the recent buying influx as "unbelievable."
Alexander stated she has been in business for 16 years and has never seen such a demand for guns of all types.
Very few AR-15 and AK-47 style rifles are left in stock, and Alexander expects to be completely out of them by the weekend.
According to Alexander, the background check system used to keep criminals from purchasing guns has been overloaded with gun shops trying to process the checks for each sale.
"It (background check) used to only take about three minutes but now it has been averaging about 45 minutes," Alexander said.
When asked her opinion on the gun control topic, Alexander said, "I believe we will see another Clintonesque assault weapons ban, and it would not surprise me if the president used executive order to enact legislation regarding guns."
Alexander also wanted to make known that she is a supporter of firearms in schools to protect children, and that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."