Local Gun Retailers See Surge in Sales

By: Chinh Doan Email
By: Chinh Doan Email

Bell County (January 19, 2012)--Gun retailers say their sales in guns, ammunition and accessories have doubled and even tripled in the past month.

News 10 checked with about a dozen gun stores and pawn shops in Bell County, and they all say gun sales have increased dramatically in the past month.

Sales for ammunition, especially the large capacity ones, along with accessories such as cleaning kits and cases have also increased.

Local gun retailers say it's not necessarily the recent shootings, but the gun talk on our nation's capitol that's a major force in the gun sales.

"The current political state, nobody knows what's going to happen, so anybody that thinks in the future they would have wanted some of these guns they're trying to buy them now," said Johnny Frederick, owner of Top Loan Pawn in Killeen.

Frederick said January's normally a slow month for gun sales for his business, but lately, he's seeing something he's never seen in his 27 years of managing a pawn shop.

"On a normal business month, we would sell somewhere between 20 and 40 guns," Frederick said.

"It's probably closer to 50 to 100 guns now with the climate the way it is."

The sales situation is similar for Weber's Guns in Temple.

"We start at 9 o'clock, and it's nonstop until 5:30," said manager Ray Kallus.

"Customers come in looking for all kinds of product."

James Hernandez is one of those customers.

He's taking his brother out to the shooting range for the first time.

"He finally bought his first hand gun, and I want to show him the ropes," Hernandez said.

"I got a cleaning kit that'll work for him and for me."

Hernandez said shopping for guns and accessories has not been easy.

"I'm from San Antonio, and I went through Buda, Austin, even over here pretty much nothing I can find," Hernandez said.

Guns can range from a couple hundred to thousands of dollars.

Frederick said whether you're buying a gun for hunting, collecting or just practicing your Second Amendment rights, safety is key.

"People need to be safe with whatever they buy when it comes to a gun," Frederick said.

"They don't need to buy them just because they don't think they'll be able to; they need to buy them because they want to be safe, and they want to train and work them correctly and know how to use them."

Local gun retailers say they're trying to meet the public's demand as best as they can, but even some gun manufacturers don't have enough in stock.

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