More people want to lock and load for Christmas - WDRB 41 Louisville News

More people want to lock and load for Christmas

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LOUISVILLE Ky. (WDRB) --- When it comes to Christmas gifts, people are apparently wanting a lot more bang for their buck. A huge increase in gun sales means more stockings are being filled with ammunition.

Whether it's shotguns or handguns, the sale of firearms is exploding. On Black Friday, the FBI processed nearly 155,000 background checks for gun sales. That's a record, and a 20% increase over last year.

The surging interest in guns is firing up business at the Open Range gun store in Crestwood.

"We have actually almost doubled our sales compared to last year at the same time, and we've increased our hours to almost double," said Barry Laws, owner of Open Range.

Laws says gun sales have been rising consistently over the past few years. The reasons -- politics and a feeling of insecurity fueled by the recession.

"Definitely for the personal protection aspect. And also during some of the debates, they mentioned the assault weapon ban. And whenever you say those words, it gets people excited and they want to buy stuff because they think they might be banned," said Laws.

Steven Spicer is a long-time gun collector. He says target shooting is relaxing. But the main benefit is a sense of security.  "It's just in case. Personally, I hope I never have to pull one except out there on the range," he said. 

Many of the new gun buyers are women. Robin Harris is considering buying her first pistol.  "All the crime that's going on and everything, so just to be safe in our home. We have three children."

The most popular items are mid-priced handguns. And concealed carry classes are filling up fast.  "Our basic pistol safety classes are always full, and our concealed carry is very strong," said Laws.

Experts say it's crucial that anyone who buys a firearm also invest in lessons. That real sense of security is only possible when you first practice safety.

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