Local Gun Sales Spike, Some Say 2012 Election May Be Driving Force

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Thomasville, GA- Rex Smith has owned Rex Tools, Guns & Consignment in Thomasville for nearly 5 years. He says gun sales have never been as good as they are now.

"President Obama is the best gun salesman we've ever had," he said.

Smith isn't alone in his thinking. According to a report by the Associated Press, gun sales are on the rise, to the extent that some gun manufacturers cannot keep up with the demand.

The 2012 election may be the driving force behind it all, similar to what happened four years ago.

"We had an average of about 200 licenses per year for 20 years prior to the 2008 election and then a couple months before the election and a few months afterwards, we increased to about 500; we sold about 500 licenses," said Vickie Burnette, the Thomas County Probate Judge.

Judge Burnette says this time around, while still higher than previous years, the spike in number of liscence requests isn't as dramatic compared to 2008. Gun sales on the other hand? They're soaring.

"The gun sales have really spiked. They're up about 18% this year," said Heath Sanders, the manager of South Georgia Outdoors in Cairo. "Overall average, we're up about 25%."

Smith said he's seeing two to three times as many people making gun purchases and three to four times as many women.

"A lot of women are buying hand guns for their own safety now, just because of the times we are living in," he added.

So what is it about politics that has gun buyers so eager to pull out their wallets? Some say it's the uncertainty of democratic leaders holding office and pushing for stricter gun and ammunition laws.

Despite comments about possibly banning certain assault weapons, President Obama has not made gun control his top priority. However, people still worry 'what if?"

"I bought an AR-15 because he made a remark a while back, the President did, that he's going to ban them and I think it's my right to have any gun I want," said Thomasville resident, Buddy Odom.

"There's a lot of comments made about amo, especially, they think amo is going to be really scarce and think magazines are going to go away, that you can only have a five round magazine," said Sanders. "But, a lot of people just look at this next election as maybe the game changer on new laws."

As for business owners like Rex Smith and many others across the country, only time will tell how the 2012 election results will affect the future of gunsales.

Captain Steve Jones with the Thomas County Sheriff's Office says they have not seen a negative impact from the increase in gun sales.
In fact, according to their crime data, over the last three years, there has been a dramatic decrease in the number of forecable crimes. That includes rape, robbery, and burglaries.

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