TN gun sales spike after election with holiday rush - WSMV Channel 4

TN gun sales spike after election with holiday rush

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

Gun sales are spiking in Tennessee, and whether that is tied to presidential politics or hunting season, it depends on whom you ask.

Tuesday at Franklin Gun Shop looked more like a weekend as shoppers lined up for owner Brian Hassler's expertise.

"The pace is very busy. Not only are we in a post-election, but also in the Christmas season, which is also our busiest time of the year," Hassler said.

This year, gun sales could break records across the state.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, some 51,330 people applied for the background check necessary to buy a gun last month alone.

That is compared to just 37,347 in November 2011.

"The only other time that there was kind of a peak in November was in 2008, and it was an election year as well," said TBI spokeswoman Kristin Helm.

However, those numbers may not tell the entire story because customers can buy more than one gun on a single background check. So the actual increase might be even higher.

"I don't think that there's one contributing factor - whether it's the election or Black Friday - or whether it's holidays that makes these gun sales go up. I just don't think that anybody can really pinpoint a reason for those increases in sales," Helm said.

But Hassler said he can.

"I think it's solely based on the result of the election," he said. "When Obama got elected again, people, you know, just are afraid that - with the Democrats in power - there could be further restrictions. There's just a lot of forces in the country wanting to restrict handguns and other kinds of guns even further."

The overall increase in recent years has led the TBI to add more staff in order to keep pace with the demand.

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