Post-Election Gun Sales Heating Up, Or Just Hyped Up?

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Have gun sales gone through the roof since Tuesday’s election was called? I stopped by two local gun stores today to see if their inventory was flying off the shelves in anticipation of future gun control legislation, and I got a clear answer: not so much . . .

My first stop was at Bi-Mart, a regional no-frills department store chain that stocks everything from coffee makers to dog food and hardware. As well as long guns, ammo and reloading components. Their gun shelves were chock-full (including two Mini-14 Tactical models) and their gun counter was so sleepy I had to track down a clerk to sell me some Remington 9mms for $10.50 a box. He didn’t blink when I asked for five boxes, so they clearly aren’t rationing ammo purchses like they had to during the Great Ammo Drought.

Next on the itinerary was Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor, a higher-scale outdoor sportsmen’s store with a lavish gun counter. Fisherman’s ammo shelves were loaded to capacity (although their prices weren’t the best) and there were probably two dozen Evil Assault Rifles Modern Sporting Rifles ™ behind the counter. There were precisely zero customers lined up to fill out their Form 4473’s, and I was the only shopper with any merchandise in his cart.

The gun sales manager had plenty of time to talk, and I asked him if he’d seen any increase in sales since Tuesday. He shrugged. “Maybe, just a little,” he said, “but it’s hard to tell, since the last year has already been so good”

True that. Gun sales have indeed been booming for years, and 2012 is merely the best of several very good years for the shooting industry.

“At this point, I think everybody has already stocked up,” the manager continued. “I just don’t think there’s going to be a big surge in sales unless something happens.” Something meaning another AWB.

President Obama may or may not have dark designs for the 2nd Amendment, but the guys in the gun-counter trenches around here haven’t seen any pre-emptive arming up in days since Election 2012.