Gun sales are up after shootings, new legislation
FINGER LAKES—Two area gun shops have reported increased sales since two fatal shootings made national headlines in December of 2012. The owners of All Outdoors in Wayne and Louie’s Gun Shop in Bath both said the incidents, as well as the stricter legislation that followed, created a greater demand for firearms in both December of 2012 as well as January of 2013. The owner of Seneca Gun Sports in Rock Stream did not wish to comment on the issue.
The shooting deaths of 26 students and staff at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. and of two firefighters in Webster, N.Y. ignited the gun control debate across the country. Responding to these incidents, the New York State Legislature passed a new set of gun laws Tuesday, Jan. 15, which strengthens the assault weapons ban, limits the number of bullets that can be held in a magazine and restricts access to firearms from people with mental illness.
“I don’t think this is going to do us any good,” said David Allen, owner of All Outdoors located at 7 Route 230 in Wayne. “I don’t know of anybody yet who feels any safer. Whatever it is supposed to prevent, it’s not going to. It’s a political move, that’s all.”
Allen said sales at All Outdoors were up 15 percent in December compared to the previous month. He said the majority of what he sells are hunting shotguns, while also selling a few rifles and handguns as well. Allen said he has sold “assault-style” weapons in the past, but did not have any for sale at the time of the shootings or when the legislation was passed.
“Our sales have bumped up a little bit,” Allen said. “We don’t have tons of things on hand anyway, but we are a little more popular than what we were.”
Allen said while the state has taken a tougher stance on controlling gun use, he does not believe the rest of the country will be following suit.
“On the federal level, to be honest I don’t think it’s going to be any different,” Allen said. “People in this country still think for themselves.”
Bob Plaskov, owner of Louie’s Gun Shop at 367 Morris St. in Bath said his store had “a very busy December and January,” saying there was a definite increase in demand since recent events.
“We don’t particularly specialize in anything, but we had shortages in the guns we do stock,” Plaskov said.
Plaskov said a third of what people buy in his store are handguns, although he sells a broad range of sporting weapons. He said he has a few weapons that would be classified as an “assault-type” weapon, including Smith and Wesson and Bushmaster models, and that these weapons account for 5 percent of his sales. Plaskov also said in his 12 years of business, he has not been informed of any of his weapons being used in crimes.
“I think the legislation was very hasty, and certainly dominated by politicians who don’t understand people in this part of the state,” Plaskov said. “It’s going to be extremely hard and expensive to administer. If they want it to be effective, they could have put the same amount of dollars toward putting more police on the streets.”
Plaskov said he thinks national legislators will have more time to work on and look over future gun control legislation. He says whatever they come up with, it will not affect his shop anyway, because it is already in New York State operating under its stricter gun laws.