Gun, Ammo Sales Heat Up Along With Talk of Assault Weapons Ban

Gun shops in Shoreline and the Seattle region have been swamped with customers since President Obama revived talk of an assault weapons ban last month.

Guns, parts and ammunition are selling fast in Shoreline, with local gun shops seeing a crush of customers ever since President Obama mentioned an assault weapons ban last month after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Connecticut.

“Out of stock,” said Joe Hungerford, owner of Joe’s Guns & Stuff in Shoreline on Thursday. “Ammo’s gone, my rifles are gone, I only have one shotgun left.”

Hungerford, who runs a small shop, said he’s seeing a lot of first-time gun buyers, as well as people worried about future supply.

“This is much worse than when (President) Bill Clinton instituted his ban,” he said, referring to the 1994 Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, which expired in 2004. “This is much, much, much worse.”

When customers come in now, he tells them they can be on a waiting list, or “call back in a couple months.”

On Wednesday, the president announced he would ask Congress to pass legislation requiring universal background checks for anyone attempting to buy a gun, restore a ban on military-style assault weapons, and limit magazines to seven bullets. He also said he would sign 23 executive orders to enhance background checks, give mental health professionals more options for reporting threats of violence, and providing additional funds to schools to hire resource officers.

Just getting through on the phone to a gun shop can be tough. The voice mailbox was full Thursday at House of Guns in Edmonds. And at Top Guns in Shoreline, the phone rang unanswered on several tries over the course of two hours.

“We can’t even get to the phone we’re so overwhelmed,” said a man who answered the phone at Top Guns in the afternoon but didn’t want to give his name. “It’s been completely swamped.”

Indeed, national supplier Brownells, which bills itself as the world’s largest supplier of firearms accessories, parts and gunsmithing tools, has this disclaimer at the top of its website: “Please note: Due to extreme order volumes, shipments may be delayed.”

“Everybody is having trouble keeping things in stock,” said a manager at Discount Gun Sales in Seattle, who didn’t want his name used. The company operates stores in Bellevue, Bothell, Everett, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Seattle, Tukwila, Vancouver and in Oregon.

At AMS Guns in Woodinville, the answering machine simply said the shop was closing for a much-needed vacation and would reopen next week.

Paul Strand January 18, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Looks like Obama is doing for guns and ammo what he couldn't do for housing and cars.
Tony Dondero (Editor) January 18, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Guns and Ammo Magazine is probably hiring.
Smarter than a 5th grader January 19, 2013 at 05:40 PM
Banning guns in the hands of law-abiding people is like providing life insurance to criminals. We have years of data and experience from our most heavily gun-controllrd cities that prove us LESS SAFE in public where these laws exist, yet we rush headlong to repeat these mistakes in an inane effort to 'Do something' after a tragedy like Sandy Hook. We must insist that our government not restrict the freedom of law abiding citizens, but instead severely punish those who break existing laws and who do not uphold the attendant responsibility that freedom demands.


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