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Gun sales strong in Polk
The Winter Haven News Chief ^ | May 13, 2012 | Lorrie Delk Walker

Posted on 05/13/2012 10:11:34 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Gun sales historically increase when there is a possibility that a Democrat will be elected — or re-elected — president, according to local gun shop spokesmen, and the trend continues this election season.

Several Polk County gun shops report that sales continue to be strong.

Hartman's Guns and Ammo in Winter Haven experienced increases beginning in late 2011, but business has been robust for the past five years, said Jeff Riggeal, manager of the gun department.

Handguns are the shop's top sellers, followed by semiautomatic rifles.

Sales are up about 20 percent this year for Craig Shaver, owner of Arms Equipment and Rifles in Haines City.

His business opened nearly two years ago, and the biggest area of increase has been in semiautomatic handguns.

Steve Brown, manager of Shoot Straight in Lakeland, said his store is experiencing healthy sales of handguns and semiautomatic rifles — also referred to as modern sporting, paramilitary and assault rifles.

Gun aficionados tend to buy more guns and ammunition when it appears a Democrat could be elected president because history shows gun laws often tighten during a Democrat administration, Riggeal said. There is a mentality among many gun buyers that, "I better get one of these before I can't get them anymore."

Traditionally, "the first things (Democrats) go after are paramilitary-style weapons and high-capacity magazines in handguns" when they seek to enact gun legislation, Riggeal said.

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the Brady handgun law, mandating federal background checks for gun buyers.

He also signed the Assault Weapons Ban, passed by Congress in 1994, which lasted for 10 years.

President Barack Obama has not made any big moves regarding guns while president.

Regardless, Hartman's Guns and Ammo had a strong 2007, and after Obama's election, sales "went off the charts for three years," he said. "I've never seen it that strong, ever."

He had banked on the sales increase by stocking up on AR-15s, a popular semiautomatic rifle.

"We would sell five or six a day back then," he said. "For a store like this, that's incredible."

Today, he estimates he sells about three semiautomatic rifles per week.

Five years ago, it also was common for customers to stock up on ammunition. Some purchased $2,500 worth at a time.

"I think people do get nervous as we're entering an election," Brown said. "People get worried someone is going to make a run at their rights. They will not postpone purchasing something in that scenario."

In addition to election jitters, Brown said he believes some of the sales increase gun shops are experiencing is the result of pent-up demand that dates to the housing-market collapse.

People simply are ready to spend money again.

Some customers indicate they're buying a handgun for personal protection.

"Any time you have a recession or the economy is bad, crime goes up," Riggear said. "I've had people say they haven't owned a gun in 20 years, but they see so much going on around them, they feel scared. They want it for personal protection."

There's no question that the industry as a whole is seeing an increase in purchases, judging by how difficult it is to find some new firearms today, Brown said. Many Ruger, Smith & Wesson and Kimber products are back-ordered.

Ruger recently announced it has received orders for more than 1 million units in the first quarter of 2012. Because of that, it has temporarily suspended acceptance of new orders.

"If I order you a specific Kimber today, it will be at least eight months before I get that gun," Riggeal said. "I've gotten some in six months, and I've waited as long as a year for some."

Nationally, self-reported gun ownership is at 47 percent, according to a Gallup poll released in October. That is the highest it's been since 1993.

U.S. handgun growth has been driven by pistols, which represent 80 percent of units manufactured, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Annual Firearms Manufacturing and Export Report for 2010, the most current year available.

While it is difficult to quantify gun sales, local gun store managers agree that National Instant Criminal Background Check System firearm background checks provide some insight into sales trends because gun stores must conduct these checks prior to selling a gun.

However, these statistics represent the number of checks initiated through NICS, not the number of firearms sold, according to the FBI's website. NICS performed 256,821 firearm background checks between January and April. During the same four months last year, NICS conducted 220,950 checks.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Hobbies; Local News; Politics
KEYWORDS: banglist; democrats; florida; obama

1 posted on 05/13/2012 10:11:40 AM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gun sales are strong all over America. People can see the handwriting on the wall. Not all Americans are stupid like the Obamanoids.

2 posted on 05/13/2012 10:22:57 AM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Dumb, dependent and Democrat is no way to go through life. - Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

To all:
What would you buy now that you think they would restrict 1st?

3 posted on 05/13/2012 10:44:33 AM PDT by chuck_the_tv_out
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
"The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once."

Judge Alex Kozinski

4 posted on 05/13/2012 11:02:39 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER (The Second Amendment, a Matter of Fact, Not a Matter of Opinion)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I’m not willing to even entertain the idea that Obie will get re-elected, but It’s not a bad idea to get prepared for the zombie apocalypse when he doesn’t.

5 posted on 05/13/2012 11:43:50 AM PDT by Kenton
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