Assault rifle sales up at local gun shop

By: Kevin Hurd Email
By: Kevin Hurd Email

ELK MOUND, Wis. (WEAU) -- "People are buying them while they can because they don't know if they will be able to at some point," said Tom Gilbert, owner of Gilbert's Gun Exchange in Elk Mound.

His shop has been busy the last few days with customers coming in and calling on the phone. The surge in business is due to politics and economics.

"It's an investment opportunity," he said.

With the national conversation turning to tightening gun laws, he says people have been buying what they can now, knowing there is a possibility new laws could make it tougher to get high-powered assault rifles.

"There is political fear and all kinds of other motivations on a smaller scale, but for the most part I think its dollars, if you outlaw something you make it expensive," he said.

He says the last time there was a ban on large assault weapons from 1994 to 2004; it affected prices across the board.

"There was pre-ban this, pre-ban receivers, and it would just drive the price up," he said.

He says scare supply leads people going from shop to shop and buying what they can in larger quantities, banking on prices going up.

"If the first place you can't find it, and the second place you can't find it, the third place you might buy two or three," he said.

He is expecting the store to stay busy, the phone to keep ringing, unsure of how expensive certain products could get.

"They just know its $1,000 today and pending legislation is might be $1,200, or it might be $2,000." he added.

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