Gun dealers and buyers across the country have reported rapid sales growth — which began climbing significantly after President Obama’s re-election, according to national statistics. Sales also skyrocketed following the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
And buyers in Dodge City have followed suit.
Jeff Switzer, owner of Bob's Pawn Shop on Matt Down Lane, said sales have increased by a large margin in recent months.
Guns account for 25 percent of his sales, according to Switzer.
When asked about the kinds of guns customers are buying, Switzer's response was simple.
He said semi-automatic hand guns have been selling fast, as have long guns. And while buyers might be stocking up for a variety of reasons including a fear that new laws could restrict gun design, Switzer said a majority of customers, both men and women, have purchased weapons to increase their sense of personal protection.
He has owned the shop for 22 years and said the final decision on gun control legislation could really affect his business, but until then he expects sales to remain steady.
On Wednesday, Obama proposed a set of gun control regulations which include a universal background check for all gun sales and a ban on military-style assault rifles. He announced a series of executive orders which would direct federal agencies to conduct scientific research on the causes of gun violence, require schools to develop safety plans and enhance efforts to prosecute gun crimes. He also called on Congress to reinstate an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
Switzer said the proposed legislation concerns him. And he is not alone.
Shoppers at this weekend's KaleidEscape event in Dodge discussed gun legislation as they browsed ammuniton and an impressive spread of firearms. And in most cases, one phrase seemed to be the focus — the Second Amendment and the infringement thereof.
A poll taken by readers on the Daily Globe's website showed apprehension about the legislation's effect on the public's rights as well. Readers were asked the following question: "Do you believe laws limiting gun ownership infringe on the public's Second Amendment right to possess and carry firearms?" Of the 63 "yes" or "no" responses given in a week's time, 68.3 percent said limiting gun ownership did in fact infringe on the public's right to bear arms. 31.7 percent of polled readers voted "no."