Christmas time is always good for gun sales. FBI records of background checks, gun permit applications and sales reported by gun stores all tend to be the highest in November and December each year.
However, a recent uptick in the sale of guns across Indiana seems to be the result of more than the upcoming holiday season.
This weekend at Freedom Firearms in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, sales were 12 times greater than average.
“With the recent events, the shooting in Connecticut and the subsequent shootings across the country, our business has gone through the roof,” says owner Angie Freeland.
Freeland’s customers have responded to current events and political fears in the past, but the recent trend is unparalleled. In addition to concerns for personal safety, Freeland says her customers are buying up assault rifles and high capacity ammunition magazines at a record pace, so much so that her store, along with many around the nation, is completely out of stock.
She says customers are relaying their fears that with the recent shootings, Congress will pass legislation banning the products or at least making them harder to acquire.
“That’s their fear, now whether they’re warranted or not that’s not for me to decide,” Freeland says. “So, that’s what I’m hearing. I’ve also heard that they fear that their guns will be confiscated.”
When someone tries to buy a new gun from a retail store, the seller is required to check the customer’s name against the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The NIC system, which is run by the FBI, has been so inundated with calls in the past week that the service has temporarily shut down.
Indiana State Police public information officer Sgt. Richard Myers says that County Sheriffs he has talked to in Indiana have also reported a dramatic increase in the number of gun permit applications for the month of December.