Gun sales spike on Palouse as gun control debate continues in D.C.

MOSCOW, ID - Following the tragic school shooting in Connecticut, gun sales across the country have skyrocketed, especially in regions like ours where hunting is a popular activity.

Palouse Reporter Rachel Dubrovin explains what concerns local gun enthusiasts have while the gun control debate continues in Washington DC.

"We had a small spike in sales of certain ammunition and rifles after the election," said Edwards.

Sure Shot Owner Charles Edwards said that sales at his gun shop in Moscow have had their ups and downs over the last few months.

"Of course we always have our peak for Christmas season." said Edwards. "You know, .22's and shotguns, Christmas presents."

Edwards said the largest spike came immediately after tragedy struck Connecticut, and debates over gun control sparked in Washington DC.

"Unfortunately, as we all saw the event in December, we had a huge spike in sales for about two weeks," said Edwards. "And now we're still a little elevated for this time of year, but we've run out of merchandise to sell now."

Edwards says that he's ordered $50,000 worth of ammo over the last three weeks, an amount that he would typically order over the course of four months. He gets small shipments every couple of days that take care of some of the customer demand, but he says even that won't last long.

"Eventually, though, the demand is going to go past what they can supply us with, even on back orders, and we'll be out for two, three months," said Edwards.

The potential for the supply to run out is particularly concerning for Edwards.

"Kills 30-40% of our business," said Edwards.

His customers are also worried.

"Pretty much everything's been cleaned out," said hunter Curtis Winegar.

Winegar said he recently visited eight gun shops in the Quad-Cities area, and didn't have much luck.

"I didn't find any ammo left anywhere left in the .223, or the other common ammo," said Winegar.

Edwards said that he saw a similar spike in sales in the first part of 2009, and that he ended up losing more than $40,000 in gross sales because he was out of ammunition for months at a time.