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Atlanta gun shops see dramatic spike in sales following push for stricter laws

Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Gun stores in the metro are seeing more foot traffic these days. People are buying up high-powered guns like AR-15s.

The owner of Stoddard’s Range and Guns shop on Bishop Street in Atlanta said they’ve seen a 20% to 30% spike in gun sales.

“With all of the discussion of banning things, comes the desire to own it before it’s banned,” said Ken Baye, owner of Stoddard’s Range and Guns.

Gun enthusiast Michael Beatty drove to Atlanta from northeast Georgia Monday on the hunt for some accessories for his collection of guns. He said he understands why people are buying up guns at a fast pace right now.

“A lot of people are getting nervous and saying I better go out and buy a gun now before they take that right away,” Beatty said.

Those concerns could be valid. Democrats, including President Joe Biden want assault-style rifles banned - following recent, deadly mass shootings - like the one at a school in Texas that killed 19 children and two teachers.

While gun purchases are soaring, people are also searching for guns online at a greater rate. Google saw a 10-fold increase in people looking up guns like AR-15s in the days following the Robb Elementary school shooting. The same happened following the mass shootings in Parkland, Florida back in 2018 – and the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Like all federally licensed gun stores - Stoddard’s performs background checks on all its customers before selling a firearm.

“I would encourage background checks. I think it’s important for people who shouldn’t own a firearm not to own a firearm,” Baye said.

The gun shop owner also stressed the importance of knowing how to properly handle the gun you’re purchasing and how to properly lock it away. Like many gun shops, Stoddard’s offers training in their Bishop Street NW location.