AR-15 rifles surge in popularity among Oklahoma gun buyers

Since the Connecticut shootings, weapons commonly referred to as assault rifles have been flying off the shelves in Oklahoma gun stores.
by Andrew Knittle Published: January 27, 2013

Rich said he isn't surprised the weapon, which is highly customizable, has become such a hot item.

“I thought about selling it, a little, but I'm not going to,” Rich said. “I shoot it at the range … it's fun because it kind of reminds me of being in the military.”

Darren Burger, co-owner of the gun shop Locked and Loaded in Choctaw, said he believes a “fear of legislation” is driving the current upward trends in gun sales, especially weapons like the AR-15.

“There is just a lot of uncertainty, especially around elections,” Burger said. “People don't know what's coming, so it's that fear of the unknown.

“People are in a rush to get something people are telling them they can't have … even if they haven't told them anything yet.”

Sales increase

Burger said the massacre at Sandy Hook, more than anything else, drove up the popularity of weapons like the AR-15 rifle.

Other items, like high-capacity magazines and certain kinds of ammunition, are growing in popularity because some gun enthusiasts fear they will no longer be available if proposed law changes take effect some point down the road.

“After Sandy Hook, things turned into a madhouse around here,” he said.

“Like I said, people just want to do something if they think there's a chance they won't be able to anymore. And that comes back to a fear of legislation.”

by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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