This from the Tulsa World newspaper:
Sales of guns, ammo still high
One shop says the "hoarding" of ammunition since Obama's election has created a shortage.
Four months after the election of President Barack Obama, firearms and ammunition sales in Tulsa remain at a fever pitch.
Popular self-protection ammunition is often sold out at local stores, weapons are flying off shelves and the state reports an 87 percent increase in concealed carry permit applications for February 2008 over February 2009.
"People are hoarding. They're creating a shortage," Jim Prall at Sports World on 41st Street said of ammunition sales. "We've sold more ammunition in the last three months than we sold last year."
Gun sales spiked in November with the election of Barack Obama and Democrats adding to their majority in Congress. But local gun dealers say the spike is turning into a steady climb with political worries about gun rights as well as worries about the economy and potential for increased crime.
Prall said his store planned ahead for the increase, having seen a similar spike after Bill Clinton was elected, but the previous jump in sales pales in comparison to what's happening now.
Folks, the buying that is going on now is NOTHING like what went on in 1993-94. This buying trend began a month before the election, and hasn't slowed down yet. Increased sales of AR type rifles began last last summer when gun-owning voters got a glimpse of who the next "president" would be. This is the healthiest thing to happen in the gun industry...ever.
Manufacturers are running at capacity now. The difficult choice for them is, do we expand our production facilities and hire new workers now? Will we be stuck with new buildings, equipment, machinery, and employees when this buying frenzy dies down? It is a tough choice.
"Most we're selling now we got back in September, but we bought pallets then where normally we wouldn't have ordered that much."
The surprise sales come with .380 caliber semi- automatic pistols. A relatively small self-protection weapon, it's not one that people typically fire in great quantity at the firing range, Prall said. Yet, the ammunition is now hard to find. "Nobody would have predicted that," he said.
Sales are so intense that Stone has limited sales of .380 ammo to one box per customer at Dong's. He has .380-caliber handguns for sale, and likes to be able to sell ammunition to whoever buys a gun, he said.
A shipment of 10 Ruger .380 LCP handguns was sold in 24 hours this week — seven the first day, three the next. "Last week I had 28 boxes of .380, rationed to one per person, and it was gone in three days," Stone said.
Academy Sporting Goods stores also are low on .380 ammo. "The other day we got 16 boxes of .380 and a guy came in first thing and bought all 16," said Jon Ide, hunting and fishing sales associate at the 41st Street store. "A few people are doing all the buying, and it's the people who are trying to just get a box or two that can't find any."
The increased sales comes with an increase in Oklahomans seeking concealed-carry permits.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation pulled in additional help last month so it could process concealed-carry permit applications within the required 90 days, according to the supervisor of the self-defense licensing unit. Unit workers do not release their names.
The 87.2 percent increase for February 2009 over the same month last year was partially due to renewal applications for permits issued three and five years ago. But new applications have steadily risen in the past three years, and increased markedly since November, she said.
She couldn't share the monthly breakdown on numbers, but as an indication of the volume said the state issued a total of 18,510 permits in 2008. The bureau's annual reports show the state issued 16,426 permits in 2007 and 9,529 in 2006. There are 75,525 valid active concealed-carry permits in Oklahoma, she said.