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Gun Sales Shoot Upward in Springfield


With the economy still in bad shape, it’s hard to imagine any businesses flourishing. But there is one industry that has skyrocketed in the past month: gun sales. And local firearms dealers say the types of guns and ammunition sold lead them to conclude that the reason for the increase has little to do with it being deer season. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports.

That’s the sound of an AR-15, the most popular weapon in this Springfield gun store.According to FBI statistics, gun sales across the country have spiked since the first week of November.
Brent Ball, owner of 417Guns in Springfield, says his gun sales have at least doubled, if not tripled compared to his sales this time last year.
“In the last four months, I’ve probably sold 125 AR-15s, whereas I would normally sell that many in six months. We went through about 170,000 rounds of ammunition in three days,” Ball said.Ball took me around his store showing me the empty walls, where his guns used to hang before gun sales began to shoot upwards.Ball believes business has increased because of the presidential election.He feels gun owners fear their guns will be taken away, or that the price of ammunition will increase when President-elect Barack Obama takes office.He says his sales increased significantly the day before the election and his best sales day ever was the day after the presidential election.“Barack Obama has a long history of banning weapons, magazines, high capacity magazines. He’s talking about a 500 percent increase on tax on ammunition. Look at his record in Congress. Look at his record in the state Senate in Illinois. It’s just ridiculous; their gun laws are just crazy,” Ball said.Ball adds that gun owners are stocking up on weapons and ammunition, just in case the taxes on both items rise.But local Democrats say the rush to buy guns and ammunition is unnecessary.Matthew Patterson, the executive director for the Greene County Democratic Party, says Barack Obama repeatedly said throughout the campaign that he would not take away Americans’ right to bear arms.
“These were scare tactics done by the National Rifle Association. These lies saying that Obama is going to increase ammunition by 500 percent and guns by 500 percent and you wouldn’t be able to afford either one. They have no basis for this other than he won the election and they try to paint the Democrats as those who will take away your gun and ammunition,” Patterson said.Patterson says he knows several Democrats who own guns and they aren’t afraid their guns or ammunition will be taken away.He says he’s happy to see gun sales on the rise, because he feels it will help to improve the economy.For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.