Gun sales continue at brisk pace this year

Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 10:05pm

Firearms sales in Tennessee have slowed, as the topic of gun rights and gun control has cooled somewhat in the national consciousness. But historically speaking, the gun business is still booming.

In the first two months of 2013, according to data from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, gun sales were well above average. In January and February, 59,716 and 57,003 firearms transactions, respectively, were processed statewide through the TBI’s background check system. (In each month, more than 1,600 of those transactions were denied due to a failed background check.) Since an individual can purchase multiple firearms with a single background check, the total number of guns sold is almost certainly higher.

But those numbers represent a drop in sales over the previous month, amid the feverish rush to buy guns after the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., in December. An unprecedented total of 82,937 transactions — 2,768 of which were initially denied due to a failed background check — were processed through the TBI system in December.

The early 2013 numbers still dwarf monthly averages from years past. Even with the inclusion of the aforementioned record-setting December — and notably high numbers in November, in which the TBI processed a total of 51,330 transactions — the bureau recorded an average of 38,512 transactions in 2012. The numbers for January and February 2013 are more than double, and in some cases triple, the monthly averages for every year prior to that going back to 1999. (A decade ago, for instance, in 2003, the TBI processed an average of just 16,838 transactions per month.)

Bill Bernstein, owner of Eastside Gun Shop in Inglewood, said things have “definitely slowed down” at his store. But it’s not necessarily demand that’s missing.

“Part of that is due to lack of product,” he said. “I’m getting calls for stuff; I just don’t have the product to satisfy people. You name it, and it’s in short supply. My distributors have absolutely nothing.”

The type of guns customers are seeking, Bernstein said, has shifted. Toward the end of last year, and into the beginning of January, he said, most calls came from customers looking for an AR-15 style gun — the type of gun used in several recent mass shootings, and one that would be banned under proposed federal gun control legislation — or something related to it. Now, he said, more customers are looking for concealable handguns, or ammunition.

Bernstein is skeptical about how many, if any, of the proposed gun control measures will actually passinto law.

“But people haven’t quite caught on to that, yet,” he said. “I’m still getting people asking, ‘Well, have they banned this yet?’ Nobody’s banned anything, unless you happen to live in New York.”

While the fate of federal gun control efforts is indeed still in question, anxiety about state-level regulations would be misplaced in Tennessee. In keeping with a record of consistently expanding gun rights, state lawmakers recently ended a multi-year battle by passing so-called guns-in-lots legislation pushed by the National Rifle Association, that allows carry-permit holders to keep handguns in their cars just about anywhere.

As of this writing, Gov. Bill Haslam is expected to sign it into law.

8 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 3/18/13 at 7:55

The first election of Barack Hussein Obama was a wake up call for productive America. The re-election of Barack Hussein Obama and his class warfare mantra has signaled the productive class as to what lies ahead when the welfare class can no longer be supported.

People are stcking up on guns long term food supplies and some are even buying rural property and learning gardening and farming.

The nation has gone mad in every direction.

By: Worriedman on 3/18/13 at 8:27

I wonder how many of those denials were revered upon appeal? We never see the documentation of those numbers, simply the liberal media professing a large number of denials.

Also, would very much like to see the results of prosecution of those individuals who wereineligible to purchase a firearm, as the attempt is illegal as well.

The only reason that gun sales have slowed is the fact that the shelves are bare, there are no more to buy.

By: Jughead on 3/18/13 at 12:44

The world is closer to a meltdown than ever before. And, B. Hussein will be cheering for the destruction of the US.

By: grid on 3/19/13 at 7:01

Worriedman, you may be able to find the answers to your questions on the TBI's website. They post a lot of crime statistics online. If not there, you can email them to request the information.

By: yogiman on 3/20/13 at 12:56

These are only gun deals transacted in public. How many "hand to hand" gun deals could be added?

By: GUARDIAN on 3/20/13 at 9:16

Like a good Boy Scout "We the People" are preparing for what's to come...are you?...GOD BLESS AMERICA. GUARDIAN-GOD, COUNTRY, FAMILY and FRIENDS. The American Way.

By: pswindle on 3/20/13 at 11:19

TN is nothing more than a red-neck state that is so upset because we have a black President. They keep saying, "Hang on to your confederate money and guns, the South will rise again."

By: Jughead on 3/21/13 at 10:22

pswindle wants to fondle collies and sip martinis out of John Kerry's buttcrak.