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Do Talks of an Assault Weapons Ban Have You Making a Gun Run?

Gun shops in 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 these days, 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.

West Coast Armory, with locations in Issaquah and Bellevue, has posted a notice on its website warning that it can't keep up with customer calls. True to form, the Issaquah location's phone voice mailbox was too full to take new messages on Thursday afternoon.

The problem extends throughout the area.

“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.

Robert Martin January 31, 2013 at 05:55 AM
8 years ago after serving 21 years in the Marine Corps I turned in the only weapons that I have ever used. In many ways the talk of gun bans have only pushed me over the edge to make my purchase, but I truly had been thinking of the idea over the last 3 years. At some point, when the government is no longer able to feed, cloth, and shelter so many people that are receiving various govt subsistence, there will be a major backlash and riots in the streets. Those that no longer have things provided for them will look to take what they think have been educated to believe they are owed. You can do little against a mob with bare hands. I do not care so much about my physical possessions; I am more worried about my family and friends lives. So to answer your original question, yes the talk of an assault weapons ban convinced me now is the time before it is too late in the future. I have been around too long to know a slippery slope when I see it. I believe it is pathetic that our politicians and various people are talking about assault weapons and don't even know what makes a weapon an assault weapon. Just because it is 'military looking' does not make it any more dangerous than a bolt-action rifle used in 1776, the business end still fires a projectile. A rifle or handgun is nothing more than a tool and in the hands of a good person, it is a tool for good but in the hands of a bad person it is a tool for bad. The person is the only variable.

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