Gun Shop Owners: Sales Up After Election - Southern Maryland Headline News

Gun Shop Owners: Sales Up After Election


By Guy Leonard, County Times

Damian Hall, owner of D’s Outdoor and Pawn on Point Lookout Road, holds a military-style shotgun that represents the kind of firearms he’s been selling lately in large numbers after the presidential election. The hunting shotguns in the background have been selling slowly. (Photo: Guy Leonard)
Damian Hall, owner of D’s Outdoor and Pawn on Point Lookout Road, holds a military-style shotgun that represents the kind of firearms he’s been selling lately in large numbers after the presidential election. The hunting shotguns in the background have been selling slowly. (Photo: Guy Leonard)

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Nov. 13, 2008)—Proprietors of local gun and sporting goods stores say that firearms sales are up significantly, and it’s not just because hunting season is here.

Since the presidential election Nov. 4 of Barack Obama, former senator from Illinois, gun owners are worried that their rights to buy certain types of firearms could be severely curtailed, especially since Congress is now firmly in Democratic hands, shop owners told The County Times.

The local increase in sales matches reports from around the nation of more people buying up firearms.

“Overall gun sales have been very brisk,” said Ken Lamb, owner of The Tackle Box in Lexington Park. “Anything that goes bang is moving real fast.

“Obama wins the gun the salesman of the year award.”

Gun rights advocacy groups, including the powerful National Rifle Association, spent millions of dollars in ads persuading hunters, sportsman and gun owners to vote against Obama in the election, pegging him as one of the most anti-gun candidates to run in years.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Heller decision earlier this year, which declared the District’s gun ban as unconstitutional, Obama said he supported the right of citizens to own firearms, but that has not seemed to be any comfort to gun owners locally.

“We’ve seen a strong increase in sales,” said Tommy Bennett, owner of Southern Maryland Firearms in Leoanrdtown. “And it’s all types, guns and ammunition.

Bennett said he has sold more so-called assault weapons, which resemble military style firearms.

“They’re really nothing more than a semi-automatic rifle,” Bennett said. “Handgun sales have increased, too.”

One College Park man who had traveled to Leonardtown Tuesday for the Veteran’s Day parade, took the time to visit Bennett’s establishment to look for any deals.

“I’m hoping I can get one before he [Obama] passes his draconian legislation,” said John Reinhart. “As soon as it became obvious he’d get in [the White House] there was a run on guns, especially the ‘black’ ones.”

Black guns or black rifles are common terms for assault-style weapons.

Reinhart said he and family members are looking to buy but the inventory seems to be drying up everywhere he goes.

“We’re looking everywhere,” he said. “But it’s looking pretty gloomy.”

In Great Mills at D’s Outdoor and Pawn owner Damian Hall says that hunting season has definitely not accounted for the recent upswing in sales.

“We’re not selling any hunting guns,” Hall said from his store’s new location on Point Lookout Road. “Handguns, handgun ammunition and rifle ammunition are what we’re selling.”

Hall said he’s sold all of his store’s assault style weapons and wants to make sure he can get his hands on more to keep sales up.

Hall said the Obama ascendancy is the likely force behind his increased sales.

“I can’t say that for sure, but it sure helped,” Hall told The Count Times.

While shop owners hope the boon in sales will continue, Lamb said he did not believe it would last for long.

“It’ll last another 10 days and then it’ll die off,” Lamb said. “This year’s [run on guns] has been very pronounced because of election jitters.”

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