Gun sales increase at local store since shootings in Conn.Gun sales have been up all year at Gun & Reel Sports in Jamestown, and there has been an increase since the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn. There has also been an increased awareness of gun safety and security, said Gary Docktor, co-owner of Gun & Reel.
By: By Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Gun sales have been up all year at Gun & Reel Sports in Jamestown, and there has been an increase since the shooting rampage in Newtown, Conn.
There has also been an increased awareness of gun safety and security, said Gary Docktor, co-owner of Gun & Reel.
“These guns need to be locked up or need to be secured,” Docktor reported hearing from recent customers.
The gunman who killed 27 people and himself on Dec. 14 had three firearms, according to the Associated Press — two handguns and a .223-caliber Bushmaster rifle, characterized as a military-style rifle referred to as an assault weapon. The guns had been legally purchased and registered by the gunman’s mother, who was the first victim.
Every manufacturer is required to send a lock with each gun, Docktor said. In addition, Gun & Reel sells gun safes and storage cabinets equipped with locks.
Some of the people buying guns since the Newtown killings have been looking for rifles like the AR-15, the civilian model of the U.S. military’s M-16 rifle. Assault weapons have been at the center of some recent discussions on tightening gun control laws.
“We sell them mostly for people who want to go target shooting,” Docktor said, though they are also used by people hunting predators such as coyotes or foxes.
An AR-15 costs between $600 and $2,000. Gun & Reel had about five of them in stock, but there are none remaining — and some distributors are telling shop owners that they are sold out for the next year.
Also selling at a rapid pace are 30-round magazines for the rifles, which typically come with a smaller, 10- or 15-round magazines. The larger magazines have also been the focus of discussions on tightening gun restrictions, and, like several firearms, were banned by the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004.
Regardless of its type, however, a customer cannot simply walk into Gun & Reel, pick out a gun, pay for it and leave with the gun in hand.
Anyone wanting to buy a gun must fill out a federal form from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which includes date of birth, Social Security number and other identifying information.
Then Gun & Reel employees must make a phone call requesting an instant background check on the person buying the gun. Normally that call goes through right away, but for the past few days, the line has been busy and in at least one case, Docktor had to call back later.
To purchase a gun, customers must have records clean of felonies and other violations that would make them ineligible to purchase one.
“Every gun gets called in,” Docktor said, except those sold to people with concealed-carry permits. Those people have already had background checks. “And we’re doing everything legally, as we always have.”
He said he would like to see requirements for background checks required for guns sold at auctions and gun shows.
“There’s a lot of things they’re going to be talking about in the next couple weeks, to get it all figured out,” Docktor said, urging people to practice good gun safety habits and keep their firearms secure.
The Associated Press contributed information to this story.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be
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