Skip to comments.Record Sales at Dulles Gun Show [VA]
Posted on 11/25/2008 8:34:39 PM PST by smokingfrog
Fear of gun control under Obama drives firearms purchases.
Ever since Barack Obama won the presidential election, Dusty Medors phone has been ringing off the hook.
Medor, a soft-spoken bearded gunsmith, runs D & J Gun Repair out of his home in Sterling.
Prior to the election, he saw sales dropping a bit, which he attributed mostly to the lagging economy. Now, business is booming so much that he is struggling to restock merchandise fast enough for customers.
Gun sales are not only up but Medor is also overseeing more online "transfers," when a person has purchased a gun over the internet and is required by law to send it to a licensed gun dealer for pick-up.
"Everything sky-rocketed after Nov. 4," said Medor, sitting behind a long brown cafeteria table at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly.
He was one of approximately 250 vendors at "The Nations Gun Show" from Nov. 21 to Nov. 23.
"That table was completely full when I started," said Medor on the last afternoon of the event. He pointed to an area of his station where only a handful of handguns were on display. That was all he had left to sell, he said.
HELD IN Fairfax County every two months, "The Nations Gun Show" is the largest firearms sale in the mid-Atlantic region. The event has always been popular with dealers because it is well run and attracts wealthier clientele than other gun shows, they said.
"This is the richest demographic for a gun show on the east coast. The buyers tend to be larger spenders because there is a higher per capita income," said Lonnie Maurer, a vendor from Ohio that specializes in ammunition.
Even with high expectations, most vendors still cleared their sales by large margins and broke personal business records. "The Nations Gun Show" is typically Maurers most profitable event but he still sold three times more ammunition than he ever has before.
Another ammunition dealer, Jonathan Krull of www.buyammo.com, was almost out all of his merchandise and had sold more $100,000 worth by the end of the weekend.
"We sold just about everything. Friday was a record breaker. We sold more on Friday than we have ever done in a whole weekend," said Krull.
THE PROSPECT of an Obama presidency and Democratic majority in the U.S. Congress scares many gun enthusiasts, who said Obama supported several gun control measures as an Illinois state senator.
"He had a horrible record on guns. He supported every gun ban you can imagine," said Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a local gun rights organization.
Obama "believes the second amendment creates an individual right and he respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms," according to his campaign Web site.
U.S. Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.), a gun owner and strong advocate for gun rights, made appearances with Obama in which he assured the crowd that the President elect would not implement overbearing gun control laws. The senator also recorded a least one political advertisement for the radio to make the same point in support of Obama.
FEAR of what restrictions might be coming has led to an increase gun and ammunition sales, particularly over the past month. Annette Eliot, one of "The Nations Gun Show" promoters, estimated about 15,000 people attended the show last weekend, nearly 50 percent more than normally show up.
"Obama is the most anti-gun president we have ever had in history and people are afraid," said Eliot of the high attendance.
"About two weeks before the election, sales started really picking up and [National Rifle Association] memberships are up."
During the weekend show, some vendors ran out of the background check forms people fill out when purchasing a gun, a shortage Elliot, who has been involved in gun show promotion for three decades, had never seen before. Several dealers have been unable to get more guns and ammunition to sell because of the high demand, she said.
"Manufacturers are running out of certain items. Vendors are telling me that they have only been able to get one or two guns when they can normally get 20. I had one guy who sold out of guns on Friday night right after the show opened," she said.
SEVERAL gun rights activists expect Obama to try to revive the "assault weapons ban" that passed during President Bill Clintons term in office.
The law prohibited the sale of certain semi-automatic rifles to civilians and limited ammunition feeding devices, known as "magazines," to ten rounds.
These products became legal once again when the ban expired in the 2004, but were in particularly high demand at the gun show.
"The high capacity magazines and guns that go with them, you cant even get them anymore. You have an especially hard time finding anything that was banned," said Medor.
With his eyes glued to the computer screen, Medor, like several other gun dealers, hoped to find a supplier online who still had "military style" rifles available.
But none of the gun manufacturers appeared to have a single "AR-15," a semi-automatic rifle that resembles the fully automatic "M-16" used by the U.S. Military. One supplier told Medor that there was a six to 12-month backlog on that type of gun.
"Everyone wants to buy one before they are told they cant," he said.
Some local gun enthusiasts are freely admitting to hoarding firearms and supplies because of the uncertainty.
"Obama is hostile to gun owners and we are responding with our wallets. I am going to buy as many guns as I can at the Dulles gun show," said Chuck Nesby, an Arlington resident and Virginia Citizens Defense League member.
NESBY and others admitted that the incoming Democratic administration might not be the only reason people are buying guns in greater numbers.
Nesby said he is also worried about the deterioration of the economy, rising unemployment and what they could do to the crime rate.
"People are aiming to protect themselves," he said.
"Gun sales typically increase when there is a downturn in the economy. People are fearful they are going to get robbed or their car is going to get stolen," said Eliot.
the glendale, ca gun show was packed. I attended a few years ago, not too many attended. This year, had to park down the street, and things were selling real fast!
There will be a Tanner Gun Show in Denver Dec. 6th & 7th. I’ll see what the prices are like then (I expect them to be way up!).
Orlando gun show is this coming weekend.
I’m looking to buy a Barrett or maybe a couple SKS-D.
bmwcyle and I worked the Virginia Citizens Defense League membership booth at this show. Just got the report from the coordinator and it wasn’t just gun sales that set a record. VCDL set records for memberships and merchandise sales.
I hadn’t planned on buying anything, but ended up joining in the feeding frenzy. A Ruger 22/45 followed me home; my wife says I can keep it as long as I feed it, take it for walks to the range and clean up after it.
Asked one vendor about stripped AR-15 lowers and he just laughed. Ammo vendors were sold out of most common calibers by Sun afternoon. I did see one dealer with an off brand AR-15 lower for $180 - nearly twice what it would have sold for a few months ago. A few of the dealers had a decent selection of AR-15’s at fair prices given the demand.
I stood at the VCDL table and watch dealers walk out with stacks of cash.
I went to this show on Sunday. It was kind of depressing. Never before have I seen empty tables. And never have I ever seen so many people there on the Sunday! The line to get in at 10:15am (when I got there) was as long as the Saturday morning lines have been in the past... and that was after they’d already been letting people in for 15 minutes.
I didn’t buy any guns, I was there for ammo (and still spent about $130). And while prices were higher than they were a few months ago, I would say there was no “price gouging” per se.
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