° empty

Firearm sales on the rise amid gun control chatter

Joseph Guedon checks out the 300 AAC Blackout rifle he just purchased as his paperwork is processed Saturday afternoon at Sports Center. The Blackout gun was Guedon’s second. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

By Julia Nagy

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — The firearm counter of Sports Center was lined with customers Friday afternoon as salesmen ran back and forth to grab merchandise.

In addition to traditional Christmas sales, retailers are enjoying a boon in firearm sales thanks to President Obama’s pledge to introduce legislation to restrict access to assault weapons and make gun control a priority in his second term.

Many customers at the store were concerned about possible restrictions.

Odell Halford, who said he owns a range of 40 pistols, shotguns and rifles, said he agrees with limiting automatic weapons, but worries legislation might go further.

“Stopping me from having my gun, that’s what concerns me,” Halford said. “They aren’t getting mine.”

Sports Center and Bowie Outfitters have seen increases in their firearm sales since the Connecticut school shooting and the president’s announcement, store employees confirmed.

Sports Center employee Vernon Smith, right, helps customer Larry Williams Jr. look at handguns Saturday afternoon at Sports Center. (Lauren Wood \ The Natchez Democrat)

Vernon Smith, a Sports Center salesman, said the store has nearly quadrupled their sales, with semi-automatic weapons almost out of stock.

“(Customers) are concerned, and that’s why they are buying guns now,” Smith said. “It’s a concern about getting certain guns. People want to buy a gun when they want to buy a gun.”

Ethan Rymer, a salesman at Bowie Outfitters, said he went from selling six or seven guns a day to around 16 a day in the past four days.

“Our gun sales have gone through the roof,” Rymer said.

To purchase a gun in Mississippi, customers must present a valid driver’s license and fill out a 4473 form. The form asks for information about a customer’s criminal background and what type of gun they’re purchasing.

Once the form is filled out, the FBI is called for a background check. Sometimes customers are delayed or denied, but both Rymer and Smith said most of their customers are cleared right away.

Most of the time, the call takes a few minutes. Within the past few days, calls have been around an hour long.

Mike Sanders, a Sports Center customer, said he believes some of the laws could be stricter and should limit guns within city limits.

“I’m all for guns as far as hunting goes,” Sanders said. “It’s the people that kill, not the guns. They shouldn’t punish folks like this.”

Sanders owns three firearms, which he uses to hunt. He said he believes semi-automatic weapons should not be sold.

“It’s disturbing with all these kids getting killed in school,” Sanders said. “It’s a shame weapons get in the wrong hands.”

News

CPSO rules missing person case homicide

News

Adams County supervisors to review ambulance proposals Wednesday

News

Burnley Cook to withdraw from Ward 6 alderman race

News

Viewfinder: Cathedral student starts local health fair

News

Man arrested for Magnolia Grill burglary

News

Photo gallery: Jewish community celebrates Passover with Seder dinner

News

NASD graduation rate up, but still lags behind state average

News

The Dart: Vidalia man studies, takes care of family, too

News

Natchez Early College Academy Fun Day to help raise money for trip to Washington, D.C.

News

Parent University set for Thursday

News

Sunday focus: Voters to determine a quarter million in salaries May 10

News

Concordia Parish Sheriff’s Office investigates body found in Monterey

News

County seeking ambulance proposals

News

‘Suzi’s Girls’ remember lasting legacy left by coach

News

Natchez man killed in Ferriday wreck Friday night

News

Photo gallery: The bluff has gone to the DockDogs

News

Tactics in case surrounding alleged attack of parish DA questioned

News

Student charged in verbal assault of teacher

News

City back in court to determine damages in Roundstone case

News

Report: Cuts put school district $1.5M short

News

Faith and Family: R.V.I.C.S. helps Children’s Home

News

Photo gallery: Chalk artist inspired by God creates artwork at First Baptist Church

News

Man previously arrested on rape charges, charged with another sex crime

News

Natchez-Adams School District to pay $127K to former principal