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  • VA-ALERT: Freelance-Star article on gun boom
    • Nancy
      Posted Mar 28, 2009 11:53 AM

      VA-ALERT: Freelance-Star article on gun boom
      Date: Mar 28, 2009 9:51 AM
      VCDL's meeting schedule:
      Abbreviations used in VA-ALERT:
      With a gun show in Richmond this weekend, we'll see if the recent
      uptick in gun and ammo sales continues. I expect it will.

      Here is a nicely done article by the Fredericksburg Freelance-Star on
      that surge in sales. I am quoted starting around the middle of the

      Days until the veto-override session: 11

      We're afraid and armed WEAPONS PURCHASES ON RISE

      Business is booming at gun shops


      Date published: 3/28/2009

      President Barack Obama has stimulated at least one part of the
      economy: gun sales.

      Fears that he and Democratic congressional leaders will outlaw or
      restrict guns and ammunition, along with worries about the economy,
      have helped spur a hefty increase in sales of guns and ammunition.

      Sturm, Ruger and Co. reported a $48 million backlog in orders as of
      Dec. 31, and a 42 percent increase in sales in 2008.

      Smith and Wesson earlier this month reported a 45 percent increase in
      handgun sales.

      The Virginia State Police, which tracks each request for a background
      check--required for each gun purchase--reported a 19 percent increase
      in 2008, including a 60 percent increase in November over the previous

      The usual year-to-year increase is about 3 percent.

      And Georgia Arms, a large ammunition-sales company, posted on its Web
      site that it has a "huge increase in demand" and that shipping times
      are five to seven weeks behind.

      "Obama's been the best gun salesman," said Anthony Ball, owner of B&B
      Pawn Inc. in Fredericksburg. "Everybody's scared to death he's going
      to take away their guns."

      A whole wall of Ball's store is lined with racks of rifles, shotguns
      and a few assault rifles. Cases are full of handguns, and Ball says
      guns are a big seller in his store.

      While most of his stock is used guns, he says it's nearly impossible
      to get new guns or ammunition from suppliers. And when you can find
      new guns, prices are way up.

      At The Range, a shooting range in Stafford County, it's the same story.

      "I'm still waiting on guns I ordered back in December," said Paul
      Vincent. "It's hard to find ammo, it's hard to find the gun you want."

      The Range doesn't sell a lot of handguns. It's more of a shooting
      range, but Vincent said interest in all of the Range's services has
      increased in the past few months.

      The classes he offers--a basic how-to-shoot class for beginners, and
      the class required to get a concealed carry permit--have seen
      participation quadruple.

      "Normally I just schedule one here and there," Vincent said. "Now it's
      every week."

      Vincent said there's a surge in gun sales any time a Democrat gets
      elected president. People get paranoid, he said.

      "We saw this during both of Clinton's elections. And Y2K," Vincent said.

      Philip Van Cleave, of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said he's
      definitely seen an increase in every aspect of the firearms
      business--gun sales, ammo sales and attendance at gun shows, where
      guns, ammunition and other items are sold.

      "People have waited hours to get into a gun show," Van Cleave said.
      "Normally you'd be able to get in in a few minutes or just walk in."

      A normal gun show in Northern Virginia, he said, would see 7,000 or
      8,000 people. The last one had 17,000.

      Interest in Van Cleave's organization has gone up as well--his
      8,000-strong e-mail list is now at 11,000 and climbing.

      Like Vincent and Ball, Van Cleave credits fears about possible
      restrictions on guns for spurring the interest in them, but he calls
      that one part of "the perfect storm, a series of things coming

      One of the other things is fear about the economy.

      People worry the economy might actually collapse.

      Van Cleave said people think that would lead to civil unrest, and that
      they should have a gun in case they'd have to defend themselves and
      their homes.

      Some people are also worried there will be another terrorist
      attack--one that could put government services, like police, out of

      It has all contributed to an uptick in sales that Van Cleave says
      started back around October and "went crazy in December."

      The greater demand for guns and ammunition leads, of course, to less
      supply, but less supply also leads to greater demand. People get
      worried they won't be able to buy something later, and so they buy
      more of it now.

      "It's a good problem" for those who sell guns and ammunition, Ball
      said. "I've got people coming in that I've never seen before. People
      buy a lot out of fear."

      The Second Amendment IS Homeland Security !
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