Tenn. gun sales surge following presidential election

Tenn. gun sales surge following presidential election (Image 1)

Gun sales in Tennessee continue on a record pace after what appears to be a surge surrounding the presidential election.

Firearm sales in the state and across the country went up noticeably after President Barack Obama's election in 2008 before soon coming back down.

Local or federal figures will not be available for November until early next month, but the anecdotal evidence is everywhere of another surge at local gun stores around Middle Tennessee.

“It started about the week before the election, and hasn't slowed since,” said Dennis Williams, who owns the Guns and Leather store in suburban Hendersonville.

During the lunch hour on Tuesday, it was tough to find a parking spot outside the store.

Inside, at least two dozen people looked at everything from popular handguns to firearms classified by the federal government as assault weapons,

Another half dozen people filled the firing range of the two year old store where there are plenty of bargains following a fire last month at its Greenbrier store.

Still, owner Williams attributed a lot of the buyers to the recent election.

“Since the election, sales have gone through the roof.” he told Nashville's News 2. “We have had record sales, even over the last election.”

Customers like Karen Warren who was one of several women on the firing range said she heard guns sales went up in 2008 after the presidential elections.

“I heard people say they are scared their gun rights are going to be taken away. I did not see it happening then, and I am not worried about it this time,” she said.  

One key indicator for gun sales is the required background check by Tennessee Bureau of Investigation when someone makes a firearms purchase.

The TBI figures show more than 38,000 checks in November of 2008 throughout the state, up from just over 23,000 for October of that year.

The 2008 election year upswing for gun background checked rose to around 40,000 in December before the numbers dropped to less than 30,000 for January of 2009.

In October of 2012, the number of background checks on weapon purchased statewide hit nearly 34,000 according to the TBI, up from just over 31,000 for September.

If that pace continues through November and December for this year it will shatter the record set in 2011 for Tennessee background checks.

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