As members of Congress talk-up gun control legislation, prices of firearms and their accessories could go up. It’s about the law of supply and demand and the finances of fear.
“It’s nearly impossible to keep up with demand,” said Mike Mayer, owner of Jefferson Gun Outlet in Metairie.
Mayer says his sales have been brisk, but the uptick started in November after the re-election of President Obama. Mayer says the holiday season is bringing more sales, and now the Connecticut tragedy is taking firearms business even higher. He says the manufactures and suppliers of some firearms have no more stock to sell to retail businesses.
“Everything that we have up here on the walls is strictly in stock, and then when that runs out of stock, it’s over,” Mayer said.
Perhaps the most in demand firearm is the AR-15. The shooter in Connecticut used one. It is often called an assault rifle, but the AR-15 is also used for target shooting, home defense, and even hunting.
Mayer says supply of the AR-15 has dried up. He says unless more are manufactured, he has no way to replenish his supply of one of his most in demand guns. Also, President Obama could help lead the charge to ban tactical or assault rifles, so manufacturers don’t want to have stockpiles ready to sell if there’s no market.
Some handguns could also be targets of any proposed new gun legislation. Maybe not for what they shoot or how they shoot but for how many bullets they hold in their magazines.
“You want to do it soon ’cause you don’t know if you’ll be able to get what you want,” said customer Clay Cascio who was buying a handgun for his wife. Cascio said she wanted one for personal protection — and for Christmas. He was looking at different makes and models with varying magazine sizes.
California Senator Dianne Fienstein said after the Connecticut attack that she would introduce legislation that would — along with banning assault weapons — limit the size of magazines. So gun dealers expect to see a similar jump in the demand for magazines of more than seven rounds. In fact, one website this week already listed a magazine that typically sells in the $20 range for nearly $50.
“They may be at $50 now. They might be $150 next month,” Mayer said.