Gun Sales Shoot Sky High

Buyers are concerned about changes in the law, economy

Some gun owners may find themselves waiting in line at their favorite target-shooting range.  A Norwalk-based gun store and shooting range says demand among novices and experienced gun owners for more training is so great that "classes are now completely booked for the rest of December, way into January and beyond."  That’s according to Scott Moss of Forest and Field Outdoor Specialties.  He says he’s added more classes and is booking them in well in advance.

State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance says, in Connecticut, gun purchases climbed 38 percent between November 2007 and November 2008, from 6,486 to 9,144 handguns sold.

Officials say interest in gun sales and gun ownership increased because of people's fears about President-Elect Barack Obama imposing a 500 percent increase on federal excise taxes on guns.

But concern about potential changes in federal law are not the only reason would-be gun owners are bombarding firearms dealers. 

The economy also plays a major part.   Officials say some affluent people worry that they'll wake up one day and the money and the credit they have won't be worth anything, and that there are those who are desperate for money.  For them, it's a fear for their personal safety.

Stoked by the president-elect's legislative history, public remarks and commercials paid for by the Republican National Committee and the National Rifle Association that are enjoying a second life on YouTube, hundreds of thousands of Americans are rushing to obtain pistol permits and buy handguns now because they fear the Obama administration will tighten gun laws, hike federal excise taxes restricting who is eligible to own a handgun or make the cost of ownership so steep that few can afford it. 

Allan Warmflash, the owner of the Fairfield County Indoor Range in Monroe says, Democrats, Republicans and independents all have an interest in protecting and defending themselves.  He says he has an to make sure that the person buying the weapon is responsible and understands how to use a gun responsibly.

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