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Gun sales skyrocket

Do you own a gun? Whether it’s for protection, hunting, a gift or simply safekeeping, gun sales are on the rise across Halifax County.

 

Guns are flying off the shelves, and gun salesmen are reporting nearly a 50 percent increase in gun sales compared to last year.

Several attribute the increase to President Barack Obama’s mention of pursuing gun legislation, possibly placing a ban on assault weapons. Others say it is due to the Christmas rush.

“We experienced an increase right after the election, and it all went into high gear after the Connecticut shooting,” said Anthony Powell, owner of Powell’s Guns and Ammo in Turbeville.

Local gun salesmen agree the most popular guns leaving the shelves are the AR-15 and handguns.

“We’ve seen a huge increase for women (purchasing handguns). We have a knowledgeable staff, and women feel comfortable discussing their options,” said Bill Abbott, owner of Abbott Farm Suppliers Inc. in Halifax.

According to Abbott, the increase in sales stems from the uncertainty of the economy and the election. 

“We’ve had a huge push for handguns. People are looking for home protection…they have a concern for home protection,” said Abbott.

Kenneth Hawks of Guns-n-Stuff in Halifax is an avid gun collector and said his busiest time of the year is between now and May.

When asked what he believed has led to this recent rapid increase in gun sales, Hawks was quick to say, “Obama and his idiots in the White House who want to take away gun rights.”

Many females have been in his store to purchase handguns for protection.

“We’ve seen women from their late 30s to early 50s in here,” said Hawks.

Brandon Burns, manager of Riverside Pawn in South Boston, said he can’t seem to keep assault rifles stocked.

“We can’t get them in fast enough. They are so popular,” said Burns.

According to Powell, customers are purchasing the assault rifles more or less as an investment.

“I bet 95 percent of the assault weapons bought in this country won’t ever be shot,” said Powell.

Powell said the AR-15s are exceptional hunting weapons.

“Lately the hunters are using them to work on the coyote population. They are fun to shoot, and the ammo is inexpensive,” said Powell.

“I would like to see everyone calm down. I feel that everyone is reacting too strongly. We all just need to give it time,” Powell concluded.

Friday afternoon Justin Wright of Durham, N.C. and Gilbert Morgan of Roxboro, N.C. were in search of a Walther P22 handgun. After going to several gun shops in Virginia, they found themselves at Guns-n-Stuff in Halifax.

Hawks took the time to go over prices and show different guns to the gentlemen.

“We’ve been to several places, but this guy is so nice,” said Morgan.

Hawks said he has seen a 50 percent increase in sales this year compared to sales from last year.