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12/23/2012 6:01:00 AM
Business brisk at Kingman gun shops
Some buyers motivated by fear of federal ban of some weapons
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
Chris Wagner works through a stack of background check applications Friday at his store, The Gun Shop.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
Chris Wagner works through a stack of background check applications Friday at his store, The Gun Shop.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
The empty space on this Bank Street Guns rack used to hold several AR-15s before they were all sold in the last week.
AHRON SHERMAN/Miner
The empty space on this Bank Street Guns rack used to hold several AR-15s before they were all sold in the last week.

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter


Correction: The so-called "assault rifles" mentioned in this story were all semi-automatics. There is such a thing as a fully automatic "assault rifle," but the process to obtain one is both expensive and extensive. The reporter struggled to find a comprehensive definition of an "assault rifle," and mistakenly used an incorrect description.

Chris Wagner hangs up the phone, hits redial, gets a busy signal, hangs up, hits redial again, gets a busy signal, hangs up once again, shakes his head and hits redial one last time. This time he gets through to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Wagner owns The Gun Shop on Stockton Hill Road, and what used to be an in-and-out process now takes at least 15 minutes once he's able to get through.

"Our sales are up about 400 percent," Wagner said.

The mass killing in Connecticut that sparked the renewed debate over gun control, especially the discussion centered on a potential federal ban on assault weapons, has sent gun enthusiasts in droves out to gun stores all over the country.

"A line of 20 people followed me into the store Monday," Wagner said.

Other than two high-end assault rifles still available at the store, Wagner sold the 10 assault rifles he had available at the start of the week. They ranged in prices of $675 and up.

An assault rifle is a select-fire weapon with fully automatic and burst-fire capabilities. Those firearms are heavily regulated. There is another, broader definition, though, that was used in the assault weapons ban that was in place from 1994 to 2004. That law included semi-automatic rifles and pistols that met certain criteria, and many of those weapons are the ones in demand since the prohibition expired in 2004.

Wagner said he can't order more assault rifles to sell because manufacturers and distributors are running out as well.

But that's not all that is selling, he said.

Magazines, both high capacity and traditional, and ammo are getting to the "sold out" point as well, he said.

The rush is a response to talks of an assault weapons ban.

"People are telling me they fear (the government) is going to take their guns away," said Darrell Miller, the owner of Bank Street Guns.

Firearm fervor has spread to his business, too.

"All of our assault rifles are gone," Miller said. "It's been nuts."

Though business was good before the Connecticut tragedy, Miller said it definitely ratcheted up a notch this past week. He estimates that 25 assault rifles - mostly AR-15s - have been sold in the last week.

"We're setting records on sales," he said.

Local customers are purchasing all kinds of ammo, handguns, assault rifles and high capacity magazines at a rapid pace, he said.

It takes about two minutes to fill out the background check paperwork, and another two minutes to do the background check normally, he said.

Convicted felons and people with any type of domestic violence conviction on their record are not allowed to purchase firearms, Miller said.

Once Wagner got through to the NCIS database, he asked the woman on the other end how many background checks have been submitted in the last week. She didn't give him a number. But she did tell him that it's never been as busy as it is now.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: Common Ground

@ St Nick - Possibly the point 'Read Again - Knuckleheads' was trying to make is that when there is a mass shooting like what recently happened in Connecticut, a horde of gun aficionados immediately pounces on every gun shop, buying up every weapon and ammo in sight. That it's a knee-jerk reaction, which likely makes anti-gun people think we are nuts.

If that's the case, unfortunately, I don't think that scenario can be satisfactorily changed. If, after mass shootings, there weren't knee-jerk reactions from the anti-gun people to demand gun restrictions, many times as a result of inaccurate or untruthful media reporting, gun enthusiasts wouldn't be running to the gun shops to buy, buy, buy, before their guns are long gone. So, it looks like there is more than one squirrel in that tree! The over-reaction appears to be in both groups.


Posted: Friday, January 4, 2013
Article comment by: St Nick

@Read Again / Kneejerk Knucklehead

Your response was totally irrelevant and weak. I believe a good number of anti-gun people are capable of understanding " free-choice " if explained to them in terms that they may better understand. Of course, there are always the small number who are resistant to logic no matter how much of it is " right in front of their nose".

If I shop for firearms and related items, it is no different than someone else buying 30 pairs of shoes at one time, or 20 pairs of underware, or 10 boxes of kleenex or 5 cases of soda. It may seem excessive to some but it is that individual's personal decision to make that purchase-whether it be for a hobby, need, long-range planning, financial savings, or whatever is their personal reason---it is no one else's business, but the buyer who pays for it out of his own pocket, and the seller, who employs the clerk who rings up the sale. It is a personal choice.

I am a lawful, responsible citizen of the United States of America: that is also my choice. I don't need to apologize to anyone for owning a firearm, or any number of firearms and accouterments. And, no, I am not a member of the NRA that is also my choice.


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: Read again

St nick,

Despite the hard edge my comment wears. Its unfortunately very close to home to all gun lovers including myself.

My point coming from the same side you stand should be simplfied or clarified leaving out the blunt reality.

At this point the rush to clear out stores isnt helping the clarity needed in the country to give gun future a fair chance. Its easy to manipulate right of choice to buy whatever a person desires into a fanatical looking trend to hoard in mass.

I dont like being called a " gun nut" by anyone. Its very hard to defend my position on gun ownership when trying to answer the question. Whats the matter with all you gun people? You are acting like nuts trying to buy everything not nailed down.

Maybe my sarcasim lost my point to some.
l'll stick by the point of my comment. We as gun people give the opposition all the ammo they need to call us crazy.

I Dont like it either. Theres no easy answer. Sales in the numbers over the last month can be and will be used against us.


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: justanobody sr

to The Myth of Guns for Defense...
have you ever heard "an ounce of prevention.. is worth a pound of cure"
or how about just having peace of mind, or a secure feeling that you COULD protect yourself and family!
why do you have insurance?
or why do you see a dr?
its all about PREVENTING tragedy, not crying afterwards!


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: St. Nick

@KNEEJERK KNUCKLEHEAD

"Thats it....Run right out and buy everything you can get your hands on. Make yourself a specticle as you run through the isle with a panicked look on your face."...

How about you Mr. ...? Did you rush out before or after the X-mas shopping specials grabbing up all the electronic,video, or many items for sale at the wally world, k-mart, or other stores? Were you scuffling in the aisles with the other holiday shoppers trying to find a deal on your favorite type of toys?

"WE/YOU look like a bunch of insane rabid dogs willing to rip each other apart for that last piece of meat."

Any bluelight special...or black Friday Sale doesn't look much different as people scramble for that object of desire whether or not it's a necessity.

Firearm enthusiast's have just as much a right to purchase their object of desire as you have to choose yours!


Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013
Article comment by: USMC 8541

For all you people that believe what you hear in the news and Ban guns , go here http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/340113

Posted: Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Article comment by: kneejerk knuckleheads

Thats it....Run right out and buy everything you can get your hands on. Make yourself a spectical as you run through the isle with a paniced look on your face. Grab all the ammo you can find. Doesnt matter the caliber just BUY IT ALL. Hey, maybe you can trade it oneday for food or batteries.

Second mortgage your home to buy a dozen more "black guns". Put your families future finances in jeoparty to make sure you get 5 of those street sweeper shotguns.

Just show the entire world your willing to put anything behind your need to have more guns then the next guy.

Im a gun lover. I love to shoot, work on, modify, and play with my guns. However, You will NOT see me rushing the local gunstore to buy it all.

Its no wonder the anti gun folks call us crazy. Look at our reactions to any possible gun law changes. WE/YOU look like a bunch of insane rabid dogs willing to rip each other apart for that last piece of meat.

The BEST ammo that anti gun people could possibly use. WE give to them by acting like we've lost our minds and cleaning out every gunstore that can be found.

Looking very unstabile and outright crazy is exactly the view we are giving the world. This will effect our right to have guns alot more then this president or any other in our past.

You want to keep your guns? Heres a tip. Stop acting like a deranged, obsessed, mental case running full speed to buy every gun you can find.

Your going to ruin owning guns for me and yourself.


Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Frankie, sad is the fact that Kingmanites feel the need for more and more guns. That's what is sad, truly sad. Now it is sad that I had to explain that to you.

Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Harris

And Mr Parker, conservatives love to hate and fear.

And are you willing to give up 1st amendment for 2nd amendment like the NRA wants?


Posted: Sunday, December 30, 2012
Article comment by: Same Old Thing

"SEEKING TO BAN ALL FIREARMS AND DESTROY THE 2ND AMENDMENT"

Why does the right to "bear arms" outweigh my daughter's right to safely attend school? Or to safely take my daughter to the movies without the threat of possibly being gunned down?


Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012
Article comment by: USMC 8541

7 Years overseas and coming back so Mr. Wagner I will see you soon.

Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012
Article comment by: USMC 8541

Attention Weapon Owners why do waste our breath on those who are only here because one of two things their own lives stinks and have no purpose or
two They are self righteous enough to think that their ideas are the only right ones , which by the way when something happens are the same ones waiting for the Government to Come "SAVE THEM" !
Gun Control Hasnt worked in the UK, California, New York or Chicago. has it ??? Funny How all these mass shooting happen in Blue states Voters remorse ??
Anyway You ban gun people makes me sick to think my 6 deployments are wasted on people like you that never have the guts to serve their country only what the Government will do for you.
And a personal note to "The Root" if that stands for what it mean to me , Semper Fi !
Anyway 7 years overseas and be home soon finally .


Posted: Saturday, December 29, 2012
Article comment by: Avg Joe

Regarding the news media, let's not forget that the media is to blame for the countless exaggerations and misinformation when reporting the news. It used to be the media had to "verify" a story before repoting and/or broadcasting it. Now they just flock to the scene and spew untruths and rumors and worry about the facts later.

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012
Article comment by: AZ Biker

SENATOR DIANNE FEINSTEIN HAS NOW OPENLY VIOLATED HER OATH OF OFFICE, SEEKING TO BAN ALL FIREARMS AND DESTROY THE 2ND AMENDMENT,,,ALL WHILE SHE HAS A CONCEALED WEAPON'S PERMIT, A GUN, AND SEVERAL ARMED GUARDS.. FEINSTIEN OPENLY SEEKS TO REMOVE YOUR RIGHTS, AND RETAIN HERS, IN VIOLATION OF HER OATH OF OFFICE. THIS IS TREASON AGAINST ALL CITIZENS..
SIGN THE PETITION ON THE WHITE HOUSE WEBSITE TO TRY DIANNE FEINSTEIN IN FEDERAL COURT FOR TREASON.
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/try-senator-dianne-feinstein-federal-court-treason-constitution/TVq4dXPg


Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012
Article comment by: M M

I wonder...if car accidents are the cause of most deaths in the world why aren't they outlawed yet.

Oh that's right, because outlawing cars would be as ignorant as outlawing guns.


Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012
Article comment by: MG G

To the fox hound's comment. I want to know where everyone is getting their information about the assault rifle being used in the shooting. If you had check policeone.com you would know that the assault rifle was only used to kill his mother and was found in the trunk of the vehicle that the shooter had taking to the school. the only guns that he used in the school were the handguns so I dont know why everyone keeps blaiming the assault rifle.

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Glad the gun business is brisk. We may need it to be for the Second American Revolution.

Heard today on the radio (maybe in the paper here?) that some young men were burglarizing a home on Safari Street, wherever that is.

It was guns they were after. Their surprise was the owner with a gun. One gave up and is in custody, the others got away. He will probably rat on them. Thank goodness the owner had another gun. If these punks had gotten them, they might have pulled an armed robbery where someone really got hurt.

Guns prevent so many crimes in America. That detail is often lost.


Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012
Article comment by: The Root

@ Edward Tomchin

It was on the innerwebz so it must be true!

Please. The only "drop in" way to make a semi-auto AR platform rifle Full auto is by the use of a "lightning link". Too bad the full auto fire you get with one is just uncontrolled hammer follow, not true timed full auto fire. And might cause your AR to blow up in your hands from an out of battery detonation.

Never mind the fact that just POSSESSING the parts to make a rifle full auto is constructive Intent and enough for the ATF to put you away for NFA violations.

But please. continue to show your ignorance of firearms like most liberals do.


Posted: Thursday, December 27, 2012
Article comment by: The Myth of Guns for Defense

Guns to defend...guns to defend...guns to defend. How about listing all the times you had to use these death weapons to defend. More times than not these "defend devices" are used to slaughter innocents be they 1st graders, high schoolers, or a 13 yr old hit by a drive by.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: spirit herd

@ LDG
I am a gun owner, DAMN PROUD OF IT. I don't go around name bashing anybody here that is not a gun owner. That is their right not to arm themselves, but don't push your liberal garbage at me about why it's so bad to own a gun. When you start calling all gun owners "GUN NUTS", that just really shows how small minded you really are!!! I would really like to know when that intruder breaks into your home, how you are going to defend yourself, I know, you'll probably throw your tiddly winks at him!!!


Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

REALLY? I ran the following search "convert your bushmaster to full auto" on Google and received 1,520,000 hits in 0.18 seconds. Yes, some are gibberish, but some are fully functional means to turn a Bushmaster into a fully automatic weapon.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: V Stokes

@The Root
Thank you for explaining (in much more depth than most of us could) the problems with Mr Tomchins post.

He's probably thinking of some of those weapons back in the 70's(?) that were made of stamped sheetmetal. I can't remember the brands or models. As I remember...they have all been banned or at least no longer manufactured for many years.

Even with the modifications as you describe...where would these criminals find the parts needed after the machining? They would have to illegally obtain them, correct? So that's 2 major crimes they would have to commit.

His post was based on flawed information/understanding.


Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Victoria Dominguez-Dempsey

It is neither sad or discomforting in knowing the citizens of Kingman are choosing to protect themselves and exercise their rights. Chris, keep up the good work in providing the tools that town needs to properly defend themselves against the morally corrupt.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Informed Lady

@Edward Tomchin It is not EASY to turn a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic rifle. Get informed. Check out crime rates in areas where gun control is strict, and areas like ours, where it is loose, and compare. It is NOT the guns that commit violent crimes...it is the person with ill intent. Going after semi-automatic guns and making them illegal will not prevent another tragedy like the one this Christmas. The man with ill intent could have used a knife, or FIRE, an explosion, or any number of means to his horrible planned end. I'm sorry that guns used for evil are all you've ever known, but that is not their only use. I'm seriously saddened by crimes like the one at the school, but if had been our school, I would wish for an armed teacher before I'd wish for the guns to be gone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yATeti5GmI8

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: The Root

@ Edward Tomchin

Your facts about "easily converting" a semi auto rifle to full auto is false.
I am a professional gunsmith and I can say that almost all "assault weapons" as classed by the ATF(AR, AK, FAL and the like) require more than 20 seconds with a dremel tool and some stuff you buy online to make them full auto.
AR's require 2 machining operations done on a knee mill, removing about 1.5 cubic inches of metal from the lower in a precise place, with tolerances in the .005" range. Mess it up and the firearm will not work at ALL, much less be F/A. not something joe Shmoe can accomplish at home unless he is a master machinist. EVERY semi auto version of f/a weapon has what is called "denial bars" or "denial islands" to prevent the F/A parts from being installed. Defeating those islands is intent and opening you up to a 250,000 dollar fine and ten years in jail. And it is not easy to defeat most of them.



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