Gun dealers see spike in purchases

by Bill Nachman - Posted on Jan 30, 2013 - 12:52 PM

Photo: Paul Decker, owner of Hunter’s Heaven at Hayes, displays a hunting rifle. Decker’s shop—and other businesses—have seen an increase in the sale of firearms following recent calls for gun control measures. Photo by Bill Nachman

Paul Decker, owner of Hunter’s Heaven at Hayes, displays a hunting rifle. Decker’s shop—and other businesses—have seen an increase in the sale of firearms following recent calls for gun control measures. Photo by Bill Nachman

With the accelerated call for more gun control measures, several local gun dealers and firearms training experts said they have benefited from extra business.

"Recent events are a wake-up call for many," said firearms instructor Macey White of Hartfield. "They realize they are responsible for their security and not the government. Some feel that if they don’t do it now, they won’t be allowed to later. We don’t sell guns, but classes are way up," White said.

Rick Helton, store manager of Walmart in Gloucester said that gun sales during Christmas were "huge," with the store continuing to sell an assortment of guns and ammunition.

Paul Decker, owner of Hunter’s Heaven at Hayes, said he has sold extra rifles, handguns and ammunition during recent months as the call for gun control has escalated. Decker said he benefits when the large stores run out of guns and ammo, drawing more customers from the Peninsula to his store.

Decker said that the national media have fueled the fire for gun control, although local events have spurred sales as well. For example, he recalled a rape case in Denbigh a while back that brought lots of customers into his shop seeking guns for personal protection.