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Mad rush

Gun sales soar as owners fear President Obama will take their guns away

Published: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 11:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Dec. 3, 2012 11:38 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Contributed photo)
This gun case at BW Outfitters in Anita has an assortment of handguns. Brad Wendt, owner of the store, said he sold more than 300 guns during one week in November.

It's happening again.

Gun sales locally have increased 15 to 20 percent in the past six months. Why? Dennis Foglesong, manager of The Pier in Creston, said gun buyers tell him they're "stocking up" on guns and ammunition because President Barack Obama was re-elected to a second term.

Foglesong said gun buyers are concerned Obama will push new, more strict gun regulations over the next four years.

"People are scared," Foglesong said. "They think the government is going to take their guns away so they are stocking up on everything — ammo, handguns and other firearms. It's almost as bad as when he was first elected in 2008."

Before taking office, Obama said he respected the constitutional right to bear arms. But, after more than three dozen Chicago children were killed in 2007, he also said he wanted to restore the ban on assault weapons.

Those remarks fed a growing suspicion Obama would take all guns away from citizens. Those suspicions prompted a mad rush of gun sales that cleared out stores after Obama's election in 2008.

Brad Wendt, owner of BW Outfitters in Anita, said a second mad rush is happening now that Obama has been re-elected to a second term.

Wendt is selling so many guns he's had to increase hours at his business. He's open six days a week now instead of four. Wendt said in a normal month he only does about $200,000 in total sales.

Last month he cleared $550,000 in total sales — his best month ever.

"The election created fear in people," Wendt said. "There is fear out there they will not be able to get guns and fear their ammo will soon be taxed. So, they are buying, and buying a lot of guns."

Wendt has more than 1,400 guns in stock currently and said he's getting in 100 to 200 guns per week just to keep fully stocked. In November, shortly after Obama was elected, Wendt sold more than 300 guns in one week.

Wendt said the most popular guns being purchased right now are "black rifles" like AR or AK styles.

"Sales for automatic weapons over 10 rounds are going through the roof," Wendt said.

Monica McCarthy, chairperson for the Union County Democrats, said Wednesday she can't grasp why people believe Obama is going to take their guns away.

"I think it's silly," McCarthy said. "President Obama didn't take guns away from people in his first term, and he's not going to take them away this term. Everyone has the right to bear arms, that's in the Constitution, and that won't change. I truly believe that.

"I think gun manufactures are just putting this in people's heads to increase sales."

Regardless of why, the number of gun owners and guns sold have soared under the Obama administration.

According to a Charlotte Observer story published Monday, 11.1 million background checks on potential gun buyers were done the year before Obama was elected president.

In 2011, the number of background checks on potential gun buyers swelled to 16.4 million.

"It's their right to bear arms," Foglesong said, "and they're going to continue to buy guns and ammo until they are comfortable enough the government isn't going to take them away."

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