Looming election affecting gun sales nationwide

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) – The upcoming election has affected people's decisions to buy more guns recently. Retailers nationwide are seeing a spike in sales.

DNW Outdoors in Jonesboro says past presidential elections have affected the number of people coming in purchasing firearms, and this year is no different. One trade group speculates that the rising sales figures could result from people's concerns that politicians will change gun laws.

"I was here the last presidential election," Cody Driskell said. "It seemed like we were busier then too as far as gun sales go."

Driskell has worked at DNW Outdoors for the past six years and now serves as assistant manager. He says the store normally sees a spike in gun and ammunition sales around this time of year, as people spend their tax returns.

"I've been here for about six years, and it seems like we're busier now than what we have been in the past," he noted. "It's kept going a lot longer than what just the tax time rush usually does."

Politics, however, are a factor too. The National Sport Shooting Foundation (NSSF) says firearm sales have surged and remained steady since October 2008. The trade association said 2011 set records, noting the $4 billion firearms business has defied otherwise weak economic conditions.

The NSSF has tried to explain why more Americans are choosing to own firearms. Their reasons include an increased awareness of the Second Amendment, rising interest in personal and home protection and fervid popularity in the shooting sports and hunting. It also cites fears of less gun-friendly candidates, who have driven people to buy more firearms before any restrictions to gun laws are enacted.

Though no such legislation exists, Scott Vaughn says those concerns have inspired more to attend his classes on the state's concealed handgun licensing process.

"Some of the things I hear are people want to go ahead and get their license before they make it harder to get so that all plays into politics for sure," Vaugh explained, "along with things like local crime, different things happening in somebody's area or maybe right next door. All those things play into the role of what somebody wants to do as far as self defense."

Vaughn says attendance for the concealed carry classes has remained steady in 2012, but he anticipates more to sign up later this year.

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