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Gun ban fears driving people to gun shops

By Leigh Ann Rutledge
FPS Accent Editor

Wayne Harper
TO BAN OR NOT TO BAN. Wayne Harper (above) displays a 40 caliber rifle with a high capacity magazine which holds 30 rounds. The Kel Tech rifle folds in half and purchasers have the option of buying a smaller magazine.

Fear of losing their right to “bear arms” is driving many Americans to the doors of gun shops and Carrollton is no exception.

Bob Bowman, owner of Bob’s Gun Room LTD., located at 104 W. Main St., Carrollton, told The Free Press Standard gun sales are up at his business.  People are purchasing pistols, long guns and assault rifles. Bowman says customers are purchasing guns for Conceal Carry Permits (Carrying a Concealed Weapon, CCW), some for home protection but just as many are purchasing them because they fear the government will take away their Second Amendment right to have and bear arms.

“People are concerned their Second Amendment rights may be infringed upon,” he said.  “I hear comments from customers stating they have been putting off buying a gun and decided not to wait any longer.”

Bowman acknowledges we live in a rural area and customers feel they are their first line of defense.  “Residents are educated on the constitutional right to bear arms and many who are purchasing guns are doing so first because of their constitutional rights and secondly for protection, said Bowman.  “While the government is trying to disarm the public, it is causing a panic, which they are doing nothing about.  In the end, the public is arming itself.”

His customer base is about even between male and females and runs across all age groups.  He did note a select group of customers who never owned a gun before but feel they can only entrust their safety to themselves are purchasing guns.   Some of the customers come into the store knowing what type of gun they want and others have never owned a gun before and are seeking advice on what to buy for their specific use, Bowman said. 

Ammunition sales are also on the rise at Bob’s Gun Room.  Sales have been so brisk, he is limiting the volume sold per person.  Due to incidents around the country, guns and ammunition are in short supply from suppliers. 

Bob’s Gun Room, LTD. has a selection of guns, holsters, gun cases, etc.

For more information, call 330-627-2789. 

Wayne Harper, owner of The Hunt’n Shack LLC, located at 2167 Canton Rd., Carrollton, has also seen a spike in gun and ammunition sales. 

Harper, who has operated the Hunt’n Shack for six years, first noticed an increase in sales about four months before the 2008 election.  Sales at his business leveled off and increased close to the midterm election and during the last presidential election.

High capacity magazines (holding more than 10 bullets), high capacity rifles and pistols are in high demand. 

“Fear drives everything,” said Harper.  “No one really knows what is going on in Washington D.C. Every election has a pro-gun and anti-gun candidate.  I am seeing more people purchasing guns because of the Second Amendment than for personal protection.”

He has customers who did not previously want an assault weapon who now fear the government will ban them. The fear of not being able to purchase such a gun is driving them into the store to purchase one.

“The average man in Carroll County is a white or blue collar, hard working, law abiding citizen,” stated Harper.  “But the average man is the one who is going to be victimized by the few who don’t abide by the laws.”

Harper does not have 223 ammunition (assault weapon ammunition) on hand and said anyone who is able to obtain it is paying a premium cost.  He does have .22 caliber shells but is limiting sales to two boxes per person because of increased demand. 

More women are buying handguns because CCW has become more popular, he noted.  This spike in sales is also driving the ammunition shortage.

What is Harper’s biggest fear?  “Not having any items to sell next year,” he explained.  “It is easier for big distributors to receive a large shipment of guns than for the little guy.  Manufacturers are producing like normal but as soon as distributors receive a shipment, they are sold.”

Because CCW is becoming more prevalent, Harper said more people are also buying small guns for easy concealment causing the need to produce more.

Supply and demand used to work well, according to Harper.  “We would have a large amount of sales around Christmas but sales would be back to normal by March,” Harper said.  “Not now.  Fear drives people.  They watch news channels 24 hours a day and so much is said that they don’t have a clue what is actually going on.”

The Hunt’n Shack LLC is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.  The Hunt’n Shack can be reached at 330-627-4837.    

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