Coming up in Las Vegas is the National Shooting Sports Foundation 35th annual SHOT Show on products and services---the group has issued credentials to nearly 60,000 industry professionals, recreational gun owners and law enforcers who plan to attend the event.
“Hunting and the recreational shooting sports are here to stay. And so are we,” Steve Sanetti, the foundation president and chief executive, said in a show-opening statement. “A prerequisite to any dialogue involving our industry and its products is an honest recognition of the legitimacy of what we do and the important part of the national culture which we represent.”A Gun Show in Boise Idaho seemed more like a scene from Filenes Basement in Boston:
These guns and ammo are going out the door in arm loads. Some people can hardly walk they've got so much stuff," said organizer Paul Snider.Wyoming is reporting record gun sales:
Snider attributes the gun show's success to the state of politics.
"I don't think they are panicking yet but they are very concerned about what might come down the line," Snider said.
All of the people we talked with say they are concerned about the future of their rights as gun owners.
"Its going to be an invasion of our 2nd Amendment rights," said Ted Cash.
Michael Mooney, owner of Southern Hills Tactical in Custer, says the demand for firearms is unprecedented.
He says he sold 85 assault weapons ranging from $650 dollars to $3,000 dollars in just three days.
He believes people are buying in bulk, in hopes of turning a profit later, when the weapons are presumably tougher to get.
"Never seen sales like this at all. In the month of December there was nearly 2.8 million sales transfers done though NICS, which is roughly a million more than the previous December," says Mooney.
Mooney says most of his buyers are in their mid 40's or older.In Kentucky Gun Stores are running out of inventory:
Owners at several gun shops tell WAVE 3 News, they've had days when their stores are packed, some even say they had lines out the door and all of those we talked to tell us, their supplies are running low.A Virginia Gun Show this past Saturday may have given observers the impression that gun dealers were giving out product for free:
"They've been though the roof," said Open Range Sales consultant Aaron Hatfield of gun sales and one thing is driving them, "fear," he said. "They're scared of what's going to happen and the unknown."....Gun sellers can't replenish their stock.
Hatfield said the wholesalers are running out of guns and ammunition and manufacturers can't keep up with demand. Without sales, a shooting range on Open Range's property would be something to fall back on right? Not exactly. "We have twelve pistol lanes and five rifle lanes and without ammo to sell, what are people going to shoot on those lanes?" Hatfield asked.
Lines stretched for hundreds of yards throughout the parking lot comprised of gun enthusiasts wanting to browse the latest technology or stock up on ammunition.Even the NRA with all the criticism it has received has seen a major up-tic in membership. the National Rifle Association told U.S. News and World Report that they have seen membership grow by 250,000 in the month since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
Show organizers say the size of the crowd was not completely unexpected. The show has been coming to Richmond for more than 20 years, and one show manager says Saturday’s crowd was pretty much typical.
“This is just a perfect example and sign that when the government starts trying to legislate new gun laws it’s going to create panic,” says Mark Lilly, who owns a small market across the street from the Showplace.
Police officers shut down the left turn lane heading into the grounds because traffic was so dense early in the day. People showed up prior to 7:00 a.m. for the show, despite the fact that it did not open for another two hours.
"I would say that every time President Obama opens his mouth and Sen. [Dianne] Feinstein opens her mouth and they talk about gun bans and restricting the rights of law abiding Americans, people pay attention to that and sign up," says Andrew Arulanandam, the NRA's public affairs director.In just a few hours President Obama will stand in front of "prop children" and announce the details of his attack on the Second Amendment. An while his affront the the Bill of Rights must be stopped--there is a bright side. His attacks have stimulated the Gun Sales market---it is the first time that Obama has stimulated (rather than depressed) and industry.