The number of handgun permits issued in New Hanover County so far this year is more than double the number issued in all of 2008. This handgun craze has many people wondering, why now?
Handgun sales are on fire in part because of a fear that the new presidential administration will ban certain weapons.
“When they’re afraid they can’t get something, than they’ve got to have it,” said Ricci Wright of Shooter’s Choice.
People also say there’s a need for protection.
“Simple guns you wouldn’t think you would have trouble getting, your everyday handgun, revolver and stuff like that, they are hard to get now, really hard. We run out of stuff now, that we would not have run out of before,” Wright said.
That’s good for business, as long as everything stays legal.
“Guns that have been stolen, guns that have been illegally obtained, even though somebody had then lawfully at some point, they had fallen into the wrong hands,” said Deputy Chief David Conklin, Jr. of the Wilmington Police Department.
If gun users are educated and experienced, law enforcement and gun shop owners agree, one bad apple shouldn’t spoil the bunch.
At Shooter’s Choice, all customers are screened for statewide criminal history.
Dealers there use discretion when selling guns to people with no experience because they say when guns get in the wrong hands, that’s when problems arise.