Wednesday, December 28, 2011
A new item has topped the list for record Christmas sales this year: guns.
The number of guns being fired across the country is on the rise.
"In the last five years, we've seen an upward trend in the industry," said Ryan Pennock, owner of Thunderbird Tactical.
Pennock is one of thousands of gun store owners across the country who have seen a dramatic increase in sales, especially this December.
"We've had about a 200% increase over last December. November was about the same," said Pennock.
In November, the FBI reported more than 1.5 million background checks were done nationwide by gun dealers.
Nearly half a million were done in the last six days before Christmas.
The all time one-day record was made last month on Black Friday, when 129,166 background checks were conducted.
Trends of those buying guns is even changing. Local gun stores say more women are now purchasing guns.
"Two years ago was the first time in history that females out paced men in the purchase of handguns. That's a big shift," said Pennock.
The National Rifle Association says the numbers show more people are buying guns for self defense.
Josh Duerksen, who is now the proud owner of a specially ordered handgun, says he thinks recent changes in laws have prompted some to buy their first gun.
"A lot of my friends are starting to get more guns, or get their first gun. Probably because they're starting to make it easier with the conceal and carry to have a gun, and be able to carry it," said Duerksen.
No matter customers' reasons for the purchases, Pennock says he anticipates sales to be just as good in 2012.
"I don't see it going down any time soon," said Pennock.
Only 1.3 percent of those looking to buy guns are turned down because of background checks.