CHANDLER, Ariz. — At Guns Etc., Bryant Scatena examines an AR-15 he’s thinking about purchasing sooner rather than later because of fears that the government will curb sales of assault rifles.
“With the way things are going and the economy and our president and the bans that they’re putting on stuff, you know, we got to kind of protect ourselves too,” Scatena said.
Ron Sega, owner of Guns Etc., said his sales tripled shortly after the general election.
“We’re selling a lot of handguns, semi-automatics, and AR-15s,” he said. “Ammunition sales are up considerably.”
It was the same story from many of the 25 other Arizona gun store owners and clerks contacted by Cronkite News Service: Sales are up for reasons including President Barack Obama’s re-election, the struggling economy and havoc wreaked by Hurricane Sandy.
News organizations in many other states have reported the same.
“I think customers are pretty concerned with what’s going on with the economy, and obviously how the election went,” Sega said. “Any time you have someone in power that pretty much is anti-gun, at least the shooting community is concerned about what may happen in the next four years.”
During one of the presidential debates, Obama said he was interested in seeing an assault weapons ban that was in effect from 1994 to 2004 reintroduced. That law limited firing capacity and regulated pistol-grip, suppressor and bayonet attachments.
The president also said he wants to explore ways to curb violence committed with handguns.
Don Gallardo, manager of Shooter’s World in Phoenix, said sales usually increase this time of year but are up slightly more because of the election.
“Customers are saying, ‘I better hurry and get my gun before they take them all away,'” he said.
Richard Plattner, a Phoenix attorney with 30 years experience in cases involving gun laws, defective guns, and gun-related injuries, said it’s unlikely that the assault weapons ban will come back despite mass killings such as the one in Aurora, Colo.
“The question is whether or not any of the recent shootings have created enough momentum, enough political will, to move the gauge significantly enough that a bill will get passed which really makes a difference,” Plattner said. “And there’s no evidence of that kind of change in the political landscape.”
Hildy Saizow, president of Arizonans for Gun Safety, a group that advocates for gun control, called the spike in gun sales irrational and unfortunate.
“There’s been no evidence of change, in any way, related to gun laws,” Saizow said. “It’s a response by a minority of people, who are gun owners, going out and purchasing more weapons.”
The key to curbing gun violence is finding common ground in Congress, she said.
“There are lots of loopholes in which people who should not be buying guns are buying them from gun shows, through classified ads, online, or through private sellers,” Saizow said.
At Guns Etc., Ron Sega said he’s happy to have the boost in business.
“I’ve been doing this 25 years, and I’ll have to be honest, the eight years that Bill Clinton was president and the four years that Obama has been president have been my best years. You ask why? The fear factor.”
Darrell Murray, a retired Arizona Highway Patrol officer and owner of Murray’s Firearms in Tucson, said his sales are up about 150 percent due to fears of new gun laws.
“Obama will be gun salesman of the year,” he said.
- Affordable small home makeovers for Mother's Day
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy
- 6 ways the air in your home could be making you sick
- CrossFit dangers: 5 common injuries and how to deal with them
- Today's radiation treatments offer better success, fewer side effects
- Tips to make watching TV on the patio even better
- What really happens when you donate to a community college?
- Sun and skin cancer: Separating fact from fiction
- 5 critical lifestyle changes for a healthy colon
- What you need to know about Alzheimer's disease in Arizona
- Spring clean your windows like a pro with these 8 tips
- 7 films that should have won best-picture Oscars
- New plumbing technology saves money and improves your home
- Survey shows Arizona CFOs optimistic about 2016
- How chronic pain can affect your love life