Gun sales shooting up in Mesa County

By: Rob Hughes Email
By: Rob Hughes Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) President Obama's re-election last week has created a catch 22 for gun store owners. The election has put them in the black for the short term, but officials are worried it could create roadblocks for their industry down the road. The day after the election, Wilcox Auto & Pawn in Grand Junction received 300 applications for guns, and had a line out the door all day. Top Shot Guns and Ammo sold 19,000 rounds the same day. Business is definitely booming, but the gun community constantly has anti-gun legislation in their sights.

"The past few days, it's been hard to keep guns on the shelves," said Daniel Lente, owner of Top Shot Guns and Ammo in Grand Junction. People have been flocking to local gun stores, like Top Shot. "Usually you explain how each one works; people are just rushing in, I don't care what it is, I'll buy it, it's one right after the other," said Lente, as he helped a customer buy a small pink handgun. Lente is trying to keep stocked up on guns and ammo. "The day after the election, I went through 19 cases of 556 ammo," added Lente. Some people are buying their first gun; others already have several at home. "I get a big mix of everybody; some people come in and they've been buying for many years, and some people are coming in who are first time buyers," explained Lente.

Around the corner at Wilcox Auto & Pawn, sales are also through the roof. "They've been excellent," said owner Belinda Wilcox, as she juggled answering phone calls and assisting customers in her very busy store. Wilcox's business is selling roughly 40 guns a day, many of them "tactical" weapons. "Tactical weapons will be anything with a ten round or more clip; so anything that you can get that's a semi-automatic, that has more than a 10 round capability is what they're trying to ban right now," explained Wilcox. Talks of a ban on semi-automatic weapons in Colorado have resurfaced after the Aurora theater massacre in July. Magazines which hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition are already banned in states like California. "They should have at least 1,000 rounds of ammo for their gun, or the gun is pretty much useless; we really push that here, to be able to get the ammo; because that's what they're going to be able to control first, is the amount of ammo that's available," warned Wilcox.

Wilcox is already seeing additional regulations affect her business. "We're seeing an increase in limits of how much ammo we're able to order; so anything that you want right now, and that you're buying; it's very important to be able to stock up on that ammo for your availability; because it's not like you can just go in the store and buy certain calibers," added Wilcox.

We also spoke with Jerry's Outdoor Sports, who also reported a spike in sales. Larger stores like Sportsman's Warehouse report an increase in ammo sales. With the end of hunting season approaching, out of state sportsmen are stocking up before they go home.

Anyone buying a gun is required to go through a background check, and experts recommend that you take a gun safety class.


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