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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.

ICT - Kingman Honda
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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: justanobody sr

Hey "town crier"
when someone breaks into your home, steals all your valuables, harms your family, bet you wish you had something to stop them, don't ya?
it's your choice not to own firearms, but to wish ill will towards those who do is moronic.
but then I suppose you expect your welfare check to arrive safely,


Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: The Fox Hound

Well I guess we can all be happy that the shooter in Conn. didn't have a real assualt weapon because it could have been real bad if he had. I heard that 19 of the kids were probably killed in 45 seconds. So the rifle he used wasn't a real assualt rifle and we can thank God for that. Yes indeed we are so lucky that real assualt rifles are not legal. Thanks for pointing that out Rick and Dave.

Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Same old thing

"May God have mercy on our souls."

Actually, you could possibly need God's mercy a lot sooner than someone who has a gun to defend themself

LOL


Posted: Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Article comment by: No name provided

Alan, we don't need to come up with another name for the common semi auto rifles that civilians buy. We just need to use the actual generic name that applies to them, and that is 'semi-automatic rifle'. If you are describing a certain military style, it would be appropriate to say, "I just bought an ak-47 patterned rifle", or "ar-15 patterned rifle". Then again, neither of those names are flashy, nor do they inflame the mob like the terms "assault rifle" or "assault weapon" do.

Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Article comment by: The Conservative

@TownCrier
So in short you would like the constitution violated because you do not possess the capacity to read the direct correlation between strict gun laws and violent crime in this country. Also if you cannot identity how the constitution is violated beyond the 2nd amendment by your ignorant statement you should take some citizenship classes.


Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

All one has to do is read a bit of history bans on anything always fail in the long term, create a black market for the banned items and solve nothing! The moonshiners of prohibition era made money off their home made stills, some moved on to growing wacky weed when that era ended and the wacky weed became popular, any machinst either professionally taught or self taught can with the right equipment make any gun part and once assembled its untraceable, unregistered, one can say the folks who went blind by not so good moonshine might not had the government never banned it, and drugs have been banned as long as I can remember do not see any reduction in drugs or drug related crime! Guess my meager high school diploma against these college degrees who think banning guns will solve anything will not change much!

Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Article comment by: desert dweller

"Fear the government that fears your guns"!

Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Article comment by: The Root

@ town Crier
Just how a weapon looks has no bearing on it's deadly"ness". An AR15 shoots a varmint caliber round. Not much larger of a bullet than a .22Long rifle.
.The AK fires a bullet with the ballistic equivalent of a 30-30 in power and range

The Garand, carried by every soldier through Korea, fires a 30-06 cartridge. Roughly 2X as powerful as what an "assault weapon" fires.

I use my Modern Sporting Rifles for hunting, both substance and predator control. A semi trained marksman can do more damage with a bolt action rifle than a mentally defective child can when he gets unsecured firearms. So, lets ban the guns because of failures of the mental health system.


And both stores in this feature are licensed SOT/NFA dealers.

Merry Christmas!


Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Article comment by: daisy duke

we have the right to protect ourselves. man oh man !!! people need to get there facts straight before reporting the news. listen to what these buisness owners are saying. there words, not yours.

Posted: Tuesday, December 25, 2012
Article comment by: mr. parker

Back in the day, I wanted a Porsche 911. I could afford it but asked myself why.
It's a car, it can do over 150 mph. It looked neat but where could I go at those speeds to really appreciate the engineering of that car. I settled for a Mustang.

Well, I can purchase a semi automatic rifle that looks like the
real thing, fires similar ammunition and has a commonality of surplus parts if I need them. I can take it to any rifle range or simply shoot ir out the back door on my property if I want to. I know it is accurate, can take out coyotes and is oerfect for self defense.
But because some psycho uses it to kill school children, I am tarred by that brush.

Liberals love to scapegoat the problem by banning the item rather than identifying the problem and getting to the root causes. In this case, it's not a firearm that kills when you pull the trigger like my grandpa's deer rifle, it's a psycho that pulls the trigger, lives in his mother's basement playing violent video games, no job, no skills and no ambition. He then kills his mother and steals her firearms, A true member of the parasite class.

@town crier: What other constitutional rights do you want us to give up?


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Frank Harris

"Sad"

So people exercising their 2nd Amendment, is "sad" to you. Why?

Oh forget it, just go sit in the corner with the rest of the liberal delicate little hot house flowers.

LOL


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Redneck Gun owner

As a gun owner I have yet to see one of my guns with a mind of its own!! The deranged people in society are the problem not the weapon. Ban guns they will use a sword,ban the sword they will use a vehicle and so on and so on. Look at 9/11 a terrible tragedy where loss of life was staggering yet not one bullet was fired. Lets not forget how Kingman has made the news in the past. Oklahoma bombing of their Federal Building,a bomb made from cow crap and race gas. Stop focusing on gun control,a psychopath set on killing is going to kill. THATS THE BOTTOM LINE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! News reports the negative,check into stories where the armed citizen stopped a tragedy from taking place. Then again some of you would comment on how that was cruel and un-just. All the people that are against guns should wear shirts and put signs in your yards to make us aware that if you and your families lives are ever in danger,us gun carrying rednecks should just turn the other way and keep driving. We would hate to offend you.

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Avg Joe

In the hands of law abiding citizens, assualt rifles are a hobby just like knitting. You don't see politicians wanting to ban knitting needles because someone used them in the act of a crime do you? You don't see politicians wanting to ban cars when people die in a drunk related accidents do you? You don't see politicians wanting to ban knives when people die from stabbings do you? See where I'm going gun haters? Weapons in the wrong hands will always have a negative outcome. God bless america!

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: origional kingman resident

@ Alan Choate

You have made a good point. One of the ways the media and law makers have fooled the citizens who are not familiar with guns is to lump together fully and semi automatic weapons.

There is a difference and it needs to be addressed in any legislation that is proposed.

In the previous assault weapon bill, both types of weapons were lumped together by the authors of the bill who had little knowledge of weapons, other than the fact that they were against any an all non-hunting gun ownership.

Since this is an issue that divides the people, and also pertains directly to the rights guaranteed to us under the Bill of Rights, it would be a good idea if people would take it upon themselves to learn about arms, and also the crime rates of cities, states and countries with strict gun laws as apposed to cities, states and countries who allow their citizens the right to own arms.

One of the most unsettling clips I have ever seen was a video taken in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. An elderly woman in her 80's was on record as having a registered fire arm. The National Guard forcefully entered her home and demanded the gun, which she refused to hand over. Several of the Guards restrained her while others searched her home and removed the gun. Watching that was unsettling enough.....
but she was robbed a few days later by an armed robber.

Guess the National Guard didn't think it was important to strong arm the bad guys and take away their guns, just an 80 year old woman.


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Proud Kingmanite

@ Town Crier,

The action you advocate is nothing short of nazi fascism (look it up in a history book).

Guns THWART violence when their in the hands of law-abiding citizens like myself, who have never killed anyone & never would unless they bust in my door and invade my home and threaten my family's safety. Imagine the scenario you fantisize about the Gesptapo busts in my door and surprises me with their illegal and un-Constitutional intrusion and I react as any family man would by protecting my wife and little girl with the use of deadly force. They in turn react by opening fire and kill me in front of my daughter and wife-leaving her without her daddy and my wife without her husband of nearly 20 years.

Yeah, that'd be a GREAT thing for the country wouldn't it.


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

So, if a ban on AR 15's and high-capacity magazines is put into place retroactively, then all those people who bought them are going to use them to prevent authorities from confiscating them, right? I see another civil war in the works. I'm sure glad my daughter lives in the middle of the desert so that the whole family can find safety there from all these gun-crazed nuts!

Do you gun-nuts honestly believe that when the Founding Fathers wrote the 2nd Ammendment, they envisioned people owning semi-automatic assault rifles? I think they had single-shot muskets in mind when they wrote that, you know, guns that took time to reload. Even with those antiquated, slow-loading guns, 650,000 people managed to get killed during the Civil War. So yeah, let's start another one and see how many people will be killed this time.

Those guns sell for $675 a piece or higher? Well, the economy must be doing great! Praise be to President Obama!


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: M P

The most dangerous place to be is at a business or at a place that has a sign that says NO FIRE ARMS ALLOWED, because that makes every one a sitting duck.

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: As Stated

I read the same article that you guys have and I understood what Ahron Sherman was saying. Originally the AR15 was not a "assault weapon", in 1994 the "definition" was expanded to included the AR15 and the likes. When the law expired, nobody bothered removing the term "assault" from anywhere so it leaves people with a wrong interpretation of the law. Change the verbage in the law so it reflects what it is suppose to say.

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

@ Alan Choate

All semi-automatic weapons should be classified as assault weapons because you can purchase simple kits online and from any gun magazine that allows the owner or user to turn it into a fully automatic weapon.

Though such a modified weapon is illegal, estimates indicate that this adaptation has been implemented on nearly 30% of all semi-automatic weapons.

Actually, I think all semi-automatic and automatic weapons should be classifed as Weapons of Mass Destruction.


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

every citizen should have at least one gun for protection in my opinion. and Town Crier the government can't just bust in your door cause you did something legal before they make it illegal.

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Alan Choate

As a few people have pointed out, there is a difference between a military assault weapon (automatic fire) and the civilian models, which are made for semi-automatic firing. The story's been updated, but the comments raise an interesting point: Should the civilian versions even be referred to as assault weapons? Is there some other term that can be used so that it's easy to distinguish between firearms sold to civilians and those reserved for military/law enforcement?

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

I bought an AR-15 from this shop too :) but I did not get an assault rifle, just a semi-automatic rifle.

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Citizen Woody

Once again, the tyranny in government has caused the Citizens to pull their heads out of the sand...
See? God IS on our side!
Now, I've had MY say... let's hear it bleeding heart liberals!


Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Sad.

Posted: Monday, December 24, 2012
Article comment by: G Ma

Shame on the Miner for putting this story up after the mass murder of innocent babies and teachers . Total disrepect in my opinion .



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