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Gun sales surge in Brockton region and nationally
Brockton Enterprise ^ | 24 March 2009 | Enterprise staff

Posted on 03/24/2009 11:10:50 AM PDT by Radix

BOSTON — Handgun sales went up 46 percent at Smith & Wesson. FBI background checks required for gun purchases spiked. Local firearms safety courses are booked solid.

Businesses and groups that deal with prospective gun owners say more people have been buying firearms in recent months.

But the reasons why vary, from fear that the Obama administration will expand gun controls to anxiety about crime and the slumping economy.

“It’s fear, anxiety and ‘get ’em while you can,’” said Peter Tache, owner of M&M Plimoth Bay Outfitters in Plymouth, where AR-15s and other military-pattern semiautomatic rifles, once heavily restricted as so-called assault weapons, have been quickest to sell.

But experts disagree on how many of the gun buyers are first-time purchasers or existing owners expanding their cache of weapons.

Firearm-safety instructors say their courses are booked solid, and some report waiting lists are several months long.

At the Braintree Rifle & Pistol Club, attendance at monthly orientation sessions for new members has nearly doubled, said Lynne Roberts, a part-time instructor there. Roberts said demand for her services started climbing last summer.

“I got 12 inquiries from people on my phone in one day last month,” said Roberts, who mainly instructs women.

Clients at a recent training session included a restaurant owner, a pharmacist and an MBTA employee. Roberts said women are increasingly concerned about crime and self-protection.

“A lot of women are running small businesses or work for companies where they have some considerable responsibility,” Roberts said. “They might be there late at night, the final ones closing up. They’re thinking twice about their safety.”

Jon Green, director of education and training for the Gun Owners Action League, said the standard wait for training classes a year ago was one month. Now, “our next available isn’t until June,” he said.

Eighty percent of his students are looking to make their first gun purchases, Green said.

“It’s a tug-of-war between the anxiety of the general public and their lack of money,” said Andrew Molchan, president of the Professional Gun Retailers Association. “Right now, anxiety seems to be winning out.”

But some Brockton area police chiefs say they are not seeing an upswing in firearms-license applications from new gun owners.

They say the surge in sales may be buyers who already own weapons and are looking to stock up in case federal gun controls are stiffened.

For example, in Brockton:

Police issued 31 licenses to carry a firearm in January 2008 and just 16 this January. In December of 2007, the department issued 34 licenses to carry a firearm, compared with a dozen in December 2008.

Other departments report similar experiences. “We haven’t seen a change,” Easton Deputy Police Chief Allen Krajcik. “That is another American folklore.”

Still, many gun-rights advocates are aghast at indications that the Obama administration wants to reinstate the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.

President Clinton signed the law in 1994, banning or severely restricting 19 types of semiautomatic military-style rifles, including AR-15s and AK-47s, along with the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The ban expired in 2004; a proposed extension was later voted down.

Similar restrictions remain on the books in Massachusetts, however.

Tache said more first-time buyers walk into his Plymouth shop these days. The discussion often revolves around the recession driving up crime levels. There’s even talk about the potential for civil unrest.

“There are a lot of people out of work, and the heat of summer is coming,” Tache said. “People unable to feed their families may go out looking.”

Ron Orazine of Norton, who runs CCW Point Blank, a specialized firearms training program, said he has seen an increase in the number of gun owners looking to go beyond the basics.

“If they have a firearm, what do they need to know?” Orazine said. “They recognize when you do have your license, you have a lot of responsibility.”

Manufacturers, meanwhile, have been unable to keep up with the sudden surge in demand, according to gun dealers.

Last week, Springfield-based manufacturer Smith & Wesson reported a 26 percent rise in its quarterly profits, with handgun sales up 46 percent. After a steep decline, the company’s stock price has soared 250 percent since October.Enterprise staff writer Maureen Boyle and GateHouse News Service reporter John P. Kelly contributed to this story.

TOPICS: Local News; Miscellaneous; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; gunsales; massachusetts

Anxiety about economy, gun control fuel surge in firearm sales

Peter Tache, the owner of M&M Plimoth Bay Outfitters in Plymouth, shows a JR Engineering M68 9mm semi-automatic rifle to a customer.

1 posted on 03/24/2009 11:10:51 AM PDT by Radix
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To: Radix
2 posted on 03/24/2009 11:15:56 AM PDT by CodeJockey (If you can read this thank a teacher, if you can read it in English thank a Soldier.)
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To: E8Grunt

Salesman of the’s true.

3 posted on 03/24/2009 11:18:55 AM PDT by lilycicero
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To: CodeJockey

The actual headline on the newspaper says get this....

It's ‘Get ‘Em While you can'                        In big letters....

Someone over at the Enterprise obviously altered the title for the Internet version.

4 posted on 03/24/2009 11:22:05 AM PDT by Radix (Two down, 46 to go.)
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To: Radix

The state that elects Kennedy and Kerry (and Barney Frank) still has gun owners?

5 posted on 03/24/2009 11:34:28 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: Radix

Big bore on the 9mm. Is it silenced?

6 posted on 03/24/2009 11:34:34 AM PDT by 2harddrive (...House a TOTAL Loss.....)
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To: Radix
"Listen to all the fearmongering. People are starting to worry about civil unrest? Listen, if this country goes down the toilet and people start attacking each other in your neighborhood for food, how many people can you shoot on your property before you take a bullet between your eyes. Personally I feel you are better off using the gun on yourself, for who would want to live in a world like that?


7 posted on 03/24/2009 11:38:13 AM PDT by ZULU (Obamanation of Desolation is President. Non nobis, non nobis Domine, sed nomini tuo da gloriam.)
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To: lilycicero

I was in his shop last weekend with the fiance, waiting on my license before I can purchase, but I was just browsing.

He does indeed have the “Salesman of the month” poster hanging up.

Nice group and well stocked, the apartments that my fiance and I are moving into are right around the corner from this store, as well as a smoke shop and great privately owned coffee shop.

Plymouth is going to be a great town to live in...

8 posted on 03/24/2009 11:40:16 AM PDT by gjones77
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To: Radix

People intuitively recognize what is coming over the next two years.

9 posted on 03/24/2009 11:40:17 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: gjones77

That’s good...but a piece of advice that I read on a Freeper tagline: Make sure you’re in love before you move the heavy stuff.....

10 posted on 03/24/2009 12:12:36 PM PDT by lilycicero (I'm sure you are...good luck.)
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To: Radix

It isn’t a potential of civil unrest which is driving gun and ammo sales. It is rather the belief that Big Brother will attempt to trample on our rights and freedom. An armed public will be necessary to prevent that.

11 posted on 03/24/2009 12:13:59 PM PDT by Oldpuppymax (AGENDA OF THE LEFT EXPOSED)
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To: lilycicero

We’ve been together over 5 years and are getting married in October, so I’m not too concerned.

Not to mention, she’s a conservative and it was her idea to go get our licenses, not that I haven’t thought about it before, just never had time.

None the less, she’s a keeper :)

12 posted on 03/24/2009 12:14:56 PM PDT by gjones77
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To: gjones77

Well I guess it’s not a shotgun wedding LOL...

13 posted on 03/24/2009 12:24:57 PM PDT by lilycicero
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To: Radix

I thought I’d seen all the guns, but I don’t have a clue about the one in that picture.

14 posted on 03/24/2009 2:47:41 PM PDT by Armedanddangerous (I think youre so full of inconsolable rage, you don't care who you hurt.)
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JC Strongbow 6 hours ago: "Personally I feel you are better off using the gun on yourself, for who would want to live in a world like that?"

Ole JC Strongbow reminds me of that fella from North Dakota who said similar things about the AIG executive bonus snit. I bet they are both democrats.

15 posted on 03/24/2009 3:14:57 PM PDT by An Old Man (Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, or Do without.)
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