Sales of guns, ammo still high


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Sales of guns, ammo still high

by: KELLY BOSTIAN World Outdoors Writer
Friday, March 13, 2009
3/13/2009 12:59:14 PM

Correction: This story originally reported the wrong years when comparing the number of permit applications. The cutline incorrectly identified the .40 and .45 caliber bullets. The story and cutline have been corrected.
Related Story: Liberals told to leave: An instructor for a hunter safety course orders Obama voters to get out of his class.

Four months after the election of President Barack Obama, firearms and ammunition sales in Tulsa remain at a fever pitch.

Popular self-protection ammunition is often sold out at local stores, weapons are flying off shelves and the state reports an 87 percent increase in concealed carry permit applications for February 2009 over February 2008.

"People are hoarding. They're creating a shortage," Jim Prall at Sports World on 41st Street said of ammunition sales. "We've sold more ammunition in the last three months than we sold last year."

Gun sales spiked in November with the election of Barack Obama and Democrats adding to their majority in Congress. But local gun dealers say the spike is turning into a steady climb with political worries about gun rights as well as worries about the economy and potential for increased crime.

Prall said his store planned ahead for the increase, having seen a similar spike after Bill Clinton was elected, but the previous jump in sales pales in comparison to what's happening now.

"Most we're selling now we got back in September, but we bought pallets then where normally we wouldn't have ordered that much."

The surprise sales come with .380 caliber semi- automatic pistols. A relatively small self-protection weapon, it's not one that people typically fire in great quantity at the firing range, Prall said. Yet, the ammunition is now hard to find. "Nobody would have predicted that," he said.

"What's happened is everybody is afraid because the Democrats are anti-gun," said David Stone, president of Dong's Guns and Ammo on East Admiral Place.

Internet chatter about bills in Congress that would create additional taxes on firearms and ammunition components, require strict licensing and ban more types of so-called "assault weapons" add to the concern, Stone said. "That's just driving everyone into panic mode," he said. "We're selling 10 times the ammo we used to."

Similar bills have come up in Congress before, but few have advanced.

"We ran completely out here of 9 mm and .380," said Johny Mathews, product and service manager at the U.S. Shooting Sports Academy on East 66th Street North. "We were begging, borrowing and stealing from wherever."

Concealed-carry classes at the academy are booked through April. "We used to do 15-person classes, and now we do 24 because of the demand," he said.

Mathews believes that politics are partly to blame, but the economy also has people worried.

"It's 50/50, I think" he said. "When people lose jobs and get desperate, good people can sometimes do bad things. People hear more about home invasions, robberies, and they think it will only get worse. Then they're afraid they might lose their guns or ammo, so they stock up."

Sales are so intense that Stone has limited sales of .380 ammo to one box per customer at Dong's. He has .380-caliber handguns for sale, and likes to be able to sell ammunition to whoever buys a gun, he said.

A shipment of 10 Ruger .380 LCP handguns was sold in 24 hours this week — seven the first day, three the next. "Last week I had 28 boxes of .380, rationed to one per person, and it was gone in three days," Stone said.

Academy Sporting Goods stores also are low on .380 ammo. "The other day we got 16 boxes of .380 and a guy came in first thing and bought all 16," said Jon Ide, hunting and fishing sales associate at the 41st Street store. "A few people are doing all the buying, and it's the people who are trying to just get a box or two that can't find any."

The increased sales comes with an increase in Oklahomans seeking concealed-carry permits.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation pulled in additional help last month so it could process concealed-carry permit applications within the required 90 days, according to the supervisor of the self-defense licensing unit. Unit workers do not release their names.

The 87.2 percent increase for February 2009 over the same month last year was partially due to renewal applications for permits issued three and five years ago. But new applications have steadily risen in the past three years, and increased markedly since November, she said.

She couldn't share the monthly breakdown on numbers, but as an indication of the volume said the state issued a total of 18,510 permits in 2008. The bureau's annual reports show the state issued 16,426 permits in 2007 and 9,529 in 2006. There are 75,525 valid active concealed-carry permits in Oklahoma, she said.

Kelly Bostian 581-8357
[email protected]

Was happily surprised at Wal-Mart the other day when I noticed 6 200 rd. boxes of .40 and 12 100 rd boxes sitting behind the counter. Held myself to 2 of the 200's but going back tonight to see if any is left or restocked.
The Walmarts around here are still carrying and selling ammo. it just sells so fast you have to buy when you can or wait. it's a pain for the regular person like most of us that always goes to the range or buys the occasional gun right now because your going to pay top price or just plain can't find it to buy.
Yeah I just bought 500 rounds of .40 at my walmart last week, went back to check this past weekend and the shelves were empty. All they had was a few .22LR left and one box of .44mag.
Prior to the 92 election of Clinton and passage of the 94 ban on high capacity mags, ammunition availability was not a problem (unless you wanted "Black Talon").
I thought high capacity mags would skyrocket again, but I never thought people would buy up all the ammo. Why the run on ammo? Potential ammo tax increase?
Apparently 380 is the most desirable caliber :sarcastic:, blame it on the Ruger LCP; yea, I want one too.
they had a write up in the local paper here about it today about the gun and ammo sales it mostly started getting bought up since last nov,sales have more then doubled lately,some are buying new what ever assult weaopns they can find and some are selling there old stuff for extra money.

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