Gun sales up in Eastern Kentucky

By Whitney Burks | 

PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - It is a topic on many people's minds and wallets.

Recent debates on gun control and possible bans on certain weapons have some people scrambling to buy them, and the high demand is leaving some gun stores with bare shelves.

For more than one month many gun store owners in Eastern Kentucky say they have seen sales more than double.

"Literally anything and everything flew off the shelf," said East Kentucky Firearms Owner Jordan Ratliff.

More specifically they say people have been searching for assault weapons, or weapons with high capacity magazines.

Store owners say demand for modern sporting rifles has caused them to be nearly impossible to find, so attention is now shifting to concealed carry weapons.

"Yesterday actually, the 17th, was the first time I hit a wall. I could not order any ammunition or firearms from any of my wholesalers," said Ratliff.

He believes the spike in sales came as a result of recent mass shootings and a national debate about banning weapons like those.

"Some people were woken up that there are bad people that want to do bad things, so there has been a surge in guns that people want to protect themselves with," he said.

He and other gun enthusiasts do not believe banning these firearms will prevent the crimes.

"A gun is a gun no matter what caliber, how many rounds it holds. You know a criminal is going to be a criminal no matter what, whether it's a knife, bomb or gun," said Brent, a gun owner.

"People that buy guns from me are good honest people," said Ratliff.

But for now they say the high demand is leaving customers and stores empty-handed.

Ratliff says his sales have increased by nearly 200% since the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

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