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more seek Texas permits

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by E.L., Apr 30, 2009.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Fear triggers sales of guns and ammo

    FBI doing more background checks; more seek Texas permits


    April 22, 2009, 8:26PM


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    Nathan Lindstrom For the Chronicle

    Jose Ruiz, squeezing off a round last weekend, is one of a growing number of Houston-area students taking concealed handgun classes at Memorial Shooting Center.


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    <!-- end floating resource box --> Mendie Elliott bought her first handgun this month, a 9mm semiautomatic that fits into her purse.
    The Houston wife and mother’s motives are twofold: She’s afraid of a gun ban and a hike in crime related to the recession.
    “As times get tougher, we’re going to see more crime because people get desperate,” said Elliott, 42, who plunked down nearly $1,000 on a gun, ammunition, ear muffs and classes on how to use her new weapon.
    She’s not alone. Gun stores nationwide and in Houston are reporting a high demand for guns and ammunition amid rising fears of restrictive gun controls and crime related to the economic downturn.
    In Texas, the number of applications for concealed handguns swelled to 12,587 in February, up from 7,626 in the same month last year, according to the state’s Department of Public Safety.
    Nationally, the number of FBI background checks, which are required whenever someone buys a firearm from a federally licensed retailer, jumped 29.2 percent in March 2009, compared to the same month last year.
    Demand is so high at Memorial Shooting Center in west Harris County that the owners have hired more staff since November and have asked customers looking for pistols to call ahead to make sure they’re in stock. The 9mm Glock, which retails for more than $500, is the most popular at this gun store.
    Traffic at the center’s classes is up four times compared to last year, said Rob Corson, managing partner at Memorial Shooting Center.
    “They’re worried about their security,” Corson said. “The day after the election, gun sales exploded. We ran out of everything.”
    The store sells 30,000 to 40,000 of the 9mm rounds per month, and about 15,000 .45-caliber rounds.
    Ammo sales alone are more than double what they were last year, Corson said, adding that some manufacturers have told him it would be months before new orders could be filled.
    Rob Friedberg, a collector who has bought about 10 guns in the past year, said he couldn’t find any 9mm, .223-caliber or .40-caliber Smith & Wesson ammunition last week.
    “It’s really hard to find, especially in bulk,” Friedberg said. “So I switched to shooting .22 (caliber ammunition), which is cheaper.”
    Some gun control advocates think the run-up is due to unwarranted fears created by gun enthusiasts.
    “The NRA has been trying to push this fear that Obama is going to start small and take away people’s gun rights, which we all know is not going to happen,” said Marsha McCartney, a volunteer with the North Texas Brady Campaign to End Gun Violence.
    But gun lobbyists worry about the Obama administration passing legislation that could make it harder to buy guns.
    They point to President Barack Obama’s campaign promises to resurrect an expired ban on the civilian sales of some assault weapons, but it has not come to fruition.
    ‘It’s not all knee-jerk’

    “Many of the lawmakers in power have a long history of supporting legislation that violates the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans. Gun owners recognize this and are reacting accordingly,” said Ted Novin, a spokesman for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry based in Newtown, Conn.
    The National Rifle Association backs that sentiment, noting that even if the administration doesn’t have gun control on the agenda now, it could later, an NRA spokeswoman said.
    An upturn in gun sales isn’t unusual during times of economic uncertainty or amid fears of restrictions on purchases, store owners said.
    A similar surge happened when then-President Bill Clinton pushed for a ban on semiautomatic rifles too, said Mike Clark, president of the store Collectors Firearms in Houston.
    The latest craze is driving a current run-up in prices of about 10 percent to 25 percent on handguns, he said.
    Some of it may be an overreaction, but Clark says he isn’t convinced that the fear is irrational.
    “All it takes is someone to say something — the president or someone — and all of a sudden everyone has a knee-jerk reaction,” he said. “But it’s not all knee-jerk. The future may hold a whole different story because this kind of thing is going to pop up over time.”
  2. WestPointMAG

    WestPointMAG Monkey++

    It is knee-jerk allright we need to knee the jerks.
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