Gun sales booming

Published 1:53 pm Saturday, December 22, 2012

COURTLAND—Since Monday, Courtland gun dealer Dawn Doxey’s requests for assault rifles have increased five-fold.

“Anything with a high-capacity magazine,” said the co-owner of Doxey Firearms. “We generally don’t stock many assault rifles.”

The story is similar at the Fishin’ Hole in Wakefield.

“Our gun sales have doubled in everything, but mostly self-defense firearms, pistols and anything in an AR-style modern sporting rifle,” said owner Blake Boykin.

Ammunition is also flying off the shelves.

Both say the Nov. 6 re-election of Barrack Obama jump-started sales. The Dec. 14 massacre of 20 students and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., followed by lawmakers threatening to ban assault weapons triggered the flood.

At Sandy Hook, Adam Lanza, 20, used a semi-automatic rifle made by Bushmaster called the AR-15, before killing himself with a handgun.

Obama this week appointed Vice President Joe Biden to lead a gun violence task force. The group’s charge is to present to the President by the end of January the best ideas to reduce gun violence. It is a charge that has many fearing a ban on owning some, if not all, guns.

“I would say sales have tripled over the past two weeks,” said Doxey, who with her husband, John, three weeks ago opened their store on Southampton Parkway between Dairy Queen and Food Lion.

She noticed the initial increase before the Presidential election.

Working from home at the time, the Doxeys could only sell their guns by shipping them or at trade shows.

Doxey said they can order most models of assault rifles.

That changed this week.

“Within two days, gun distributors were totally out of assault rifles. They had none,” she said.

Doxey said there’s also a lot of demand for pistols for “mothers, daughters, hunters and people who don’t own assault rifles.”

“Even those guns are being hard for us to get,” she said. “There’s been an overall increase for every gun from little .22 long rifles to .38 specials that ladies like to carry in their pocketbooks.”

She attributes the demand to Christmas, people fearing crime in a down economy and a pending ban on assault rifles.

People also are requesting .223 ammunition, which is commonly used with assault rifles.

“You can’t get it,” Doxey said. “It’s out of stock everywhere.”

“We’re having a hard time keeping the shelves stocked,” Boykin added.

He experienced his last run on guns and ammunition in 2009 after Obama was elected. Recently, sales have doubled.

Boykin said the person who buys an assault rifle, or what he prefers to call a military-style rifle, primarily uses it for target shooting and killing varmints.

He hesitated about commenting on proposed laws that would ban assault rifles.

“It’s like with any other target gun,” Boykin said. “It’s not the gun that does the killing. It’s the person behind the gun.”