“It has gone up in value over the years. … It is a viable form of currency.”
Guns are popular
Gun sales have soared in recent months, both here in Oklahoma and nationwide.
In 2012, the number of criminal background checks requested by Oklahoma gun shop owners, which are required before completing a gun purchase, indicated that interest in firearms was at an all-time high.
According to records kept by the FBI, the 367,976 background checks requested by store owners last year topped the previous record — set in 2011 — by nearly 100,000.
With some guns sitting on the shelf for just minutes, literally, the demand for ammunition also has trended sharply upward.
At Big Boy's Guns & Ammo, owner Brigette Blackwell said the store can't get enough bullets in from suppliers to meet its customers' demands.
Blackwell said presidential elections always create a surge in the firearms industry but that the current climate is unprecedented. She said the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut remains a major factor in the gun craze.
“Really, people are just running scared, in my opinion,” Blackwell said. “Gun sales are crazy right now, and ammunition goes right along with that.
“I keep thinking it will get back to normal, but it's still crazy.”
To keep her customers at least somewhat satisfied, the shop owner limits ammunition sales when supplies run low.
“We try to be fair … one or two boxes are better than none,” Blackwell said.