LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) – Weapon dealers in the Grand Strand say they've seen an increase in gun sales throughout the fall, but especially in the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
"We've sold almost everything we've had in the store," said Jimmy Strange at Little River Pawn. "What you see on the shelves is all we have at this point."
Strange says gun sales in the store have been up throughout most of the fall, but because of fiery rhetoric out of Washington D.C. regarding heavy restrictions on weapons, more customers have been purchasing firearms they believe may be taken off the market.
"People are trying to get ahead of the gun ban which we all know is coming," Strange said.
Many of the customers at Little River Pawn echo sentiments that action needs to be taken in the wake of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, but believe it should be less about restricting legal sales of firearms, and instead cracking down on toothless gun laws that are already on the books, as well as seeking harsher penalties for gun law violators.
Strange says the current safeguards for purchasing firearms are pretty stringent, especially those in place for assault weapons. Each gun purchase requires a background check by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the store itself reserves the right to cancel any deal. But, Strange says, purchases of assault weapons are much, much stricter.
"There are a lot of checks the customer purchasing that gun would have to go through," Strange said. "It would probably take close to a year just to get the paperwork pushed through."