Local gun shops say sales are increasing due to proposals to ban certain weapons
JACKSONVILLE, Fla---Jacksonville is seeing an increase in gun owners, and gun shops are making record sales.
Now that lawmakers are pushing proposals to ban more than 100 types of weapons, some people feel the window of time to purchase certain guns is closing.
"We're seeing record sales and our conceal weapons classes which we hold every weekend they are going through the roof as far as attendance, people just scrambling to do whatever they can to preserve the right to bear arms and carry," said Phillip Gazaleh, Manager at Green Acres Sporting Goods.
Gazaleh said in the last two months he has seen a growing interest in tactical weapons.
"They [AR-15] do take 30 to 100 round drums they have the collapsible stop, the pistol grip, bayonet lug, this is one of the main weapons that they are looking to ban," Gazaleh explained.
Gazaleh disclosed he has sold about 300 AR-15's in the last two months. Those weapons and weapons with a pistol grip and high cap magazine have made the list for bans, but the proposals also include restrictions on ammunition.
"People are really nervous about getting their second amendment law infringed upon, so they are coming in and buying ammo and guns and other supplies, whatever really they think lawmakers may try to go after," Gazaleh added.
At St. Nicholas Gun and Sporting Goods on Blanding Boulevard gun sales have increased by 50 percent. Supply is low because the store owner says the demand for guns is so high nationwide that he's facing trouble getting in supply from distributors.
"I think it's the banning of guns where people think they are not going to be able to buy any guns and they want to buy them now so they can protect themselves," said Paul Rukab, owner of St. Nicholas Gun and Sporting Goods.
Conceal weapons classes at St. Nicholas are also at full capacity and 35 percent of the participants are actually women.
"The first three customers I had this morning were women, older women that live alone they want protection they want to be able to protect themselves," Rukab revealed.
Fear of losing the ability to protect their family is another reason why locals are rushing to buy firearms.
"Once you own them you'll be grandfathered in. You'll be able to own the weapons that you already own, but going forward they may put a restriction," said Gazaleh.
First Coast News