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Thursday, December 20, 2012 - 10:46am

Gun Sales, Inquiries Spike

An already brisk fall for gun sellers in Georgia and across the nation has picked up steam this week along with talk in Washington of stricter federal gun laws.

The FBI reported a record number of background checks for gun sales in November. Now, in the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut, some gun retailers are reporting low inventory and phones that ring non-stop.

Georgia Arms in Villa Rica sells ammunition, but there’s not much left after demand jumped 600 percent in recent weeks. A store worker who answered the phone said they’ve stopped taking orders altogether.

At Ingleside Gunworks in Macon, owner Tim Coker said he’s selling more, but he’s also answering more questions from people. Coker said that’s mostly not new business, though.

“The people who were going to buy something are still going to be the people that bought something. Instead of them spreading that business out over six months, they may do it in the course of one month,” he said. “We’ll have this huge spike of sales, but at the end of it, we’ll equally have a lull.”

Federal leaders are talking about new gun controls after the Sandy Hook shooting, including re-enacting an assault rifle ban.

Coker said he’s seeing and talking to people who aren’t interested in buying necessarily but who want to learn more about these assault weapons.

“People that are on the outside looking in, I think they think that’s a huge part of our business. It typically is a very small part. I don’t even know that it’s 10 percent of our business,” Coker said.

“Most of our guys who are buying something are buying hunting rifles that only hold three shells and manually reload [or] shotguns that are designed to shoot a clay pigeon.”

Jerry Henry with the pro-gun group says he’s hearing about brisk business from friends he has all over the state and the country.

“I have a friend who has a gun store in Gainesville and she posted on her Facebook page the other day that she had just tripled her best day ever [of sales],” Henry said.