Capital Region gun sales soar

Capital Region gun sales soar

In anticipation of last week's unveiling of President Barack Obama's plan for gun control, Capital Region gun owners have been stocking up for the better part of a month.

Few AR-15s or other military-style rifles are to be found, and those that are have nearly doubled in price.

But that's not all shoppers are after. Weapons of all calibers, magazines, ammunition, parts and even reloading materials have been flying off the shelves.

For weeks now, the gun sales section of Bass Pro Shops has been marked by heavy traffic and scarce pickings. Last week, the firearms on display were about half the usual inventory, and with the exception of shotgun shells, ammunition was scarce. At Academy Sports on Airline Highway, the shelf normally containing .223 ammunition—one of the calibers at issue in the current controversy—was empty, and supplies of other calibers were running low. Even the Louisiana Gun & Reloading Supply on Jefferson Highway was largely picked clean of powders, primers and casings.

Jim's Firearms on Siegen Lane has experienced a perpetual rush since December, with lines for guns and ammunition even in the middle of the workday. Among the recent customers: a couple of Shreveport residents who drove to the store just to purchase .22 caliber rimfire that couldn't be found closer to home.

“People are buying up virtually all of the products we carry,” said a spokesman who did not want to be identified. “They're very much afraid their Second Amendment rights are going to be violated illegally.”

Calls to Baton Rouge-based wholesale firearms dealer Lipsey's were not returned at press time.

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