Gun sales increasing following mass shootings -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Gun sales increasing following mass shootings

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Gun sales have shot through the roof since recent terrorist events and mass shootings. Local gun stores are trying to keep up with the high demand and renewed interest.
Robert Batista owns the 707 Gun Shop. He says their gun sales have doubled in two weeks. On a typical day, the would sell five to seven guns. Now, they’re selling 11 to 15 a day. Batista says although a lot of talk right now is about fully automatic assault rifles, handguns are the current biggest seller. Many of the shelves are empty and they depend on new shipments to satisfy the customers’ increased demand.
And Batista says his customers are buying guns for two main reasons: half fear gun control and half fear terrorism.
"They feel that their military and police has been so watered down by the current administration, that there is nobody really there to protect them. So people are standing up and going to try and protect themselves,” said Batista.
And more people are showing interest in obtaining their Concealed Weapons Permit. Batista says his classes are full through January. They offer five classes each month. Each class can take 25 students.
One customer stopped by the range at the 707 Gun Shop with his mother. Ed Motley has been a CWP holder for 14 years, but he wanted to bring his mother so she could learn the basics. He said he’s been concerned with recent break-ins in their area and he wanted her to have another level of protection.
"My thoughts have always been I would rather be prepared for nothing at all than unprepared for anything. I never want to be in a situation where I ever have to use it. And if I'm not home, and she's home and something happens, she has plan B,” said Motley.
In a private class his mother, Kathy Burdge, learned the basics of how to hold and aim a gun. Then she went to the range to practice shooting with an instructor by her side. Burdge proved to be a good shot. She made multiple hits in the center of the bullseye.
“I was very nervous, very nerve wracking. As a matter of fact, my stomach is very upset now. (laughs) But, now at least I know how to load a gun, how to shoot a gun. And I’ll be back to practice more. I don’t have any regrets trying this,” said Burdge.
Anyone who walks through the doors of the 707 Gun Shop is encouraged to take a private lesson and then the CWP course. CWP courses must follow guidelines set by SLED. The course doesn’t just teach how to shoot a gun, but where you can and can’t carry a gun along with when you can and can’t shoot a gun.
"I'd rather give you that half hour lesson, than give you a gun and risk the chances of you hurting yourself or someone else,” said Batista.
The 707 Gun Shop owner says instead of buying guns out of worry that a new law might take a certain type of gun away, he believes his customers are having a shift in perception about who is responsible for their safety.
"I really think that people are genuinely afraid now. I think people realize what happened in France, has happened here. And they're making the connection now. The solution might be to shoot back as opposed to waiting for someone to come and help us,” said Batista.
The most recent statistics from the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division show that there are 253,339 active Concealed Weapons Permits in the Palmetto State. Of those, 27,705 were brand new permits. And last year, 948 permits were denied and 895 permits were revoked. That was as of February of this year. More recent statistics since all the mass shootings have not been released.

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