By Henrik Blix
Mason Times staff writer
MASON—Gun owners are scrambling to purchase weapons and ammunition in the midst of a national shortage following the Sandy Hook shootings in December.
Sandy Stacy, who is in charge of issuing gun permits for the Mason Police Department, said there is a mix of people who are buying for protection and those buying because they are afraid their gun rights may be restricted.
“A lot of people feel their gun rights are going to be taken away, so they are out buying anything and everything they can,” Stacy said.
“Monday morning Dec. 17, everything went nuts,” said Mike Green, the manager at Not Just Guns, a gun store in Mason. “It took companies that were already backordered and cleared out the rest of their inventory.”
According to gun permit statistics from the Mason P.D., in the weeks after the Sandy Hook shootings this December there were 24 permits sold, compared to 15 permits sold during the same period in 2011.
According to the same statistics, in January of 2012, 14 gun permits were sold. In January of 2013, 40 gun permits were sold, an increase of 286 percent.
Green said he has noticed increased sales, especially among handguns and the popular AR model of semi-automatic rifles. The AR rifle has been the subject of much national debate because of its role in multiple shootings, including Sandy Hook.
Green said most of the sales increase has come from gun owners who were previously on the fence about purchasing another weapon but have decided to do so because of the current gun situation.
“They’re worried they’re not going to be able to get one, so they’re rushing now,” Green said. “People are making purchases that they typically may not have made. Instead of saving they are getting out the plastic and buying it today.”
Stacy said another issue facing gun owners is a shortage of ammunition. She said the national shortage has affected many gun owners in Mason.
“You can’t get it. It’s off the shelves,” Stacy said.
One gun owner remarked that he purchased a handgun more than one month ago, but hasn’t been able to fire it yet because he hasn’t been able to buy ammunition. Green said he has heard this from many of his customers.
Green said he’s been in the gun industry since the early 1990’s and has never seen anything like the current gun and ammunition shortage.
“Things are starting to loosen up, but not at the rate that we’d like it to,” Green said. “The shortage was so extreme that even though it’s coming back, it’s not where it was.”