Local gun sales soar over Thanksgiving weekend

Local gun sales soar over Thanksgiving weekend

GRETNA, LA (WVUE) - At Shoot Wise in Gretna, business is good. From Black Friday through Cyber Monday, manager Ryan Staehle said business was even better.

"We did sell a lot of firearms on that day, and we had a couple of specials going on. Also, on our website we had all of the inventory on there so people were checking that out on Thanksgiving," Staehle said.

The uptick in sales seemed to mirror the trend across the country. Black Friday set a record for the number of firearm background checks. The FBI said it processed 185,345 gun background checks that day - that's more than two per second.

"A lot of people are getting into conceal carry lately. A lot of people see what's going on in our nation and other nations, and they feel like they need to defend themselves," Staehle said.

The record volume of background checks came on the same day that three people were killed and nine others were injured in a shooting at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado.

President Barack Obama then renewed calls for changes to gun laws to limit access to weapons.

"My hope is that once again this spurs a conversation and action," he said.

"I think, in my view, for now, given the interpretation of the courts on Second Amendment cases, that guns are here to stay," said Loyola criminologist George Capowich.

Capowich believes instead of changing laws, the focus should be on other things.

"There's technology with smart guns for example, that won't work unless the owner's hand prints are there. That helps, even if it gets stolen," he said.

"Your average criminal is not going to come to us. They're going to buy it at a gun show or private sale which is not regulated in the state of Louisiana," Staehle said.

Federally licensed sellers like Shoot Wise deny sales to those with failed background checks based on a variety of factors, including criminal history, domestic violence convictions and restraining orders.

Staehle said about 98 percent of the background checks conducted through a licensed dealer are given the go-ahead to proceed with a sale.

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