Dealers report steady sales after Vegas shooting

By David Talley | Published Saturday, October 14, 2017

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Wise County gun dealers are reporting no large changes in sales two weeks after the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

In the past, gun sales spiked following shootings as prospect of tighter gun rules often leads consumers to stockpile firearms, the New York Times reports. Stock prices in firearm companies rose following the shooting, the Times reported Oct. 3, but less so than after previous mass shootings.

Sturm, Ruger & Company, the maker of Ruger rifles and handguns, saw a 5.6 percent increase in stock prices in the two days following the shooting. Stocks in the company rose 8.5 percent after the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando June 12, 2016, and 10 percent after 14 people were killed in San Bernardino Dec. 2, 2015, according to the Times.

Silver Bullet Pawn & Gun in Boyd reported no changes, but saw increased sales before the 2016 presidential election when polls favored Democrat Hillary Clinton. Nationally, stocks in firearm companies gained in the months leading up to the election as investors banked on a surge of gun purchases following a predicted Clinton victory.

Wise Lite Arms, located in Boyd, reported no changes in business. The shop mainly does custom work.

War Horse Weaponry in Decatur reported a slight increase in sales, but no significant jump. The store opened in July, but owner Levi Holloway said he’d seen an increase in firearm prices during the election. Gun prices have dropped since then due to too much inventory, he said.

“Everyone had geared up, before the election, but then everybody kind of relaxed,” he said. “Now we’re seeing reduced prices.”

Holloway said in the weeks following the shooting in Las Vegas, several shoppers have asked him about bump stocks, but the store doesn’t sell the item. Bump stocks can be fitted onto semi-automatic rifles to increase their firing rate. Lawmakers from both parties have recently discussed regulations on the items after they were used in the shooting.

No uptick in gun sales has been reported at 2K Pawn & Gun in Decatur and a store clerk said he hasn’t encountered customers interested in the stocks.

Brian Bernardo, owner of Bridgeport Guns & Ammo, said the store has seen a slight increase in gun sales recently, but nothing like the months leading up to the 2016 election.

He speculated the store sold enough firearms during that time that buyers’ needs have been met, at least for the time being. Bernardo said several shoppers have asked about bump stocks, but that the store doesn’t stock the item.

Bernardo attributed the sales holding steady to President Donald Trump’s pro-second amendment stance, which likely has locals not expecting any new regulations.

“When you have a pro-gun president, there isn’t that rush,” he said. “Everybody’s comfortable around here.”

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