JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Thousands of Americans are buying up ammo, handguns and other firearms, citing concerns that President Barack Obama might push new regulations in his second term or that United Nations agreements might infringe on the U.S. gun market.
Sales were high when the president was elected for his first term, and the trend continues now.
Gun store owners say they saw a slight increase in sales for guns and ammo before the election. Now post-election, they say they are seeing an even bigger spike in sales.
Paul Rukab, owner of St. Nicholas Gun and Sporting Goods, says his pre-election sales were up 15 percent. But since Obama's re-election, he said sales are up 300 percent.
The most common gun he's selling right now? An AR-15.
"My advice is, buy them now. There will be some type of gun regulation," Rukab said. "I believe they are going to tax ammo. There's a big rumor about taxing ammo 5 cents a round."
Rukab said he's seen it before: In the days after the 2008 election, people began stocking up on firearms and ammunition. In one of this year's debates, President Obama talked about a possible ban on assault weapons. That has gun enthusiasts worried.
Rukab said people should not be restricted on what they can buy.
"Nobody comes in to buy a gun to shoot somebody," he said. "We do background checks on everybody and they have to have no record to buy a gun."
The thought of altering existing gun laws is another concern.
"I'm not pleased about the thought," said Cindi Benton, who is looking to buy a gun. "Nobody's going to take my right away."
Customers who were gun shopping Tuesday were asked why it's so important for them to be able to own a gun.
"Why is it important? Everybody should be able to protect themselves," Benton said.
"I have a family; just for protection," gun owner Hipolito Delacruz said.
Rukab said his customers aren't looking for guns to commit a crime. He said they are people looking for protection, to use to hunt with or even just to add to a collection.
"Guns, they really don't kill people, humans do," Rukab said.
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