The talk of new gun control laws is driving up sales of assault rifles and ammunition.
Local gun stores are seeing lots of first time buyers as well as long time gun owners who worry about losing their Second Amendment right to bear arms. But others aren’t worried about a change in gun laws because they don’t think it’s going to happen.
Tommy Lloyd is in the market for an assault rifle for target practice.
“I’ve just kind of been thinking about it and if they are thinking about having a ban, I would just like to have one before it happens,” he said.
And he’s not alone. Tens of thousands of other gun owners across the country are making it tough for local stores to keep the type of guns the federal government might ban in stock.
“The Second Amendment is our given right to own and bear arms, but for the government to say, ‘No you can’t have it,' I don’t think so,” Lloyd told WSBT.
The retail manager at Mishawaka’s Midwest Gun Exchange, Rocco Rigsby, said a month ago before the shooting in Connecticut, the back wall of the store was full of assault rifles. It is now half empty.
The same goes for what’s called “high capacity” ammunition – anything over 10 rounds.
“We can’t keep it in stock,” said Rigsby.
There’s also talk of banning that, too.
“Frenzied, panic buying, that’s all it is,” said Granger gun owner Don Filley. “And the ones really making out are the gun shops and the gun producers and the ammo producers.”
Filley said he got caught up in what he calls the “gun frenzy” in 2008 when President Obama was first elected. He bought lots of firearms but has since sold a lot of them. He now only has one – for personal protection.
“I didn’t want to participate anymore. I still have a gun for personal protection at my house but I don’t have stockpiles of guns and stockpiles of ammunition. I think it's all nonsense,” he added.
Regardless, Midwest Gun Exchange has been so busy it had to add employees to its schedule in the last month, Rigsby said.
There’s also concern about comments President Obama made earlier this week, pledging to press on with legislative efforts to reduce gun violence, stressing there are "some steps" he can take without Congress. Many people took that to mean he’s hinting at issuing an executive order on gun control issues and bypassing Congress altogether.
Tuesday, Vice President Joe Biden gave President Obama a list of 19 steps he could take through executive action alone, including tougher penalties for gun trafficking and stricter action against those who lie on background checks for gun sales.
Biden led a commission to look at gun laws after the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting last month.
But there's still strong opposition in Congress against sweeping gun regulations.