Miles Hall apologized for taking so long in getting to the telephone. "I’ve been kind of busy,” explained Hall, owner of H&H Gun Range in Oklahoma City. Hall and other metro-area gun shop owners are saying business has been brisk following the presidential election. With Democrat Barack Obama winning the presidency and the Democratic Party strengthening its advantages in the U.S. House and Senate, many customers are concerned about possible gun ownership restrictions. "‘Some concern’ is an understatement,” said Mike Blackwell, owner of Big Boy’s Guns and Ammo in Oklahoma City. "We’ve been hitting a new record every day. It started just prior to the election, and we’re probably up 70 percent.” Roy Hawkins, owner of R&S Gun Service in Moore for 28 years, said the increase in sales has been more gradual at his store. Gun sales usually go up around election time, he said, but anxiety seems a little higher than usual. "He’s anti-gun,” Hawkins said of Obama, "so folks are nervous about not being able to purchase guns. People are making additional purchases that they may not have considered otherwise.”
Hunting plays role, tooNot all gun shop owners and employees, though, have seen a surge in sales or concern. The office manager at Outdoor America Store in Oklahoma City, who refused to give her name, said more long guns are being sold this time of year for hunting season, but "we have not sensed any hype. Everything seems to be status quo.” However, Hall said business has been "overwhelming” in recent days at H&H Gun Range. The climb started last week and has taken off since Election Day. "After Thanksgiving there’s Black Friday, and that is sort of what happened,” Hall said. "It started on Election Tuesday, and it hasn’t stopped.” Hall described the increases as "across the board,” with ethnically diverse customers buying all types of arms. Yet, he said there is no shortage of guns and that reputable dealers are not hiking their prices to meet the surging demand. "There was no real panic until about a week ago, and it really didn’t hit here ’til Election Day,” Hall said.
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