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

Just a few months ago, Oklahoma gun-buyers still were purchasing firearms in typical fashion.

Handguns, particularly those made by Glock, were the hottest sellers.

But then a mentally unstable 20-year-old man walked into an elementary school in Connecticut and gunned down 20 children and several adults, sparking a national conversation about gun control.

Adam Lanza, who also killed his mother before the Dec. 14 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School, reportedly used an AR-15 rifle during the shooting rampage.

Since the Connecticut shootings, weapons commonly referred to as assault rifles have been flying off the shelves in Oklahoma gun stores.

Shelves are bare

At H&H Shooting Sports Complex, shelves that once held weapons like the AR-15 were bare in the days after the attack in Newtown, Conn.

Miles Hall, owner of H&H, said he sold 2,000 rifles in just two days and called the current sales environment the most lucrative in history.

Other gun store owners saw the same thing happen to their inventories. Semi-automatic rifles, which had always been popular, were now the “it” thing for gun enthusiasts.

Prices have skyrocketed, as well, as demand has grown. Weapons like the AR-15, which once cost between $500 and $700, are now selling for more than $2,000.

Rob Rich, who attended a handgun safety class Wednesday night at H&H Shooting Sports Complex, said he bought his AR-15 rifle three years ago.

“It reminded me of what we used to use in the service,” Rich said. “It cost me about $600.”

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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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