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First Coast gun, ammo and carry-conceal permits skyrocket

6:52 PM, Feb 25, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Since the Sandy Hook school shooting, gun sales across the First Coast have jumped with people not only buying guns, but also ammunition and applying for carry-conceal permits.

"There has been record-high spikes on sales. We have been here 45 years, this is as good as its been," said Phil Gazaleh with Green Acres Sporting Goods on Normandy Boulevard.

With gun sales up, there has also been a run on ammunition. 

"Most people feel that there is going to be a tax levied on their ammunition or it is just not going to be there," said Rick Stinson at the Strike Zone, who also noted some gun owners are just stocking up.

Classes for conceal-carry permits are also active across the First Coast. The state agency locally that handles applications in February is telling applicants the first appointments to begin the process are in May.

President Barack Obama proposed tougher federal laws following the Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 20 first-graders and six staff members.

Some of the proposals include banning assault weapons and ammunition magazines that exceed 10 rounds and universal background checks for nearly all gun purchases.

"It's an effort to subvert the constitution," said Hugh Powell, 85, a strong believer in Second Amendment. On his desk at his Downtown insurance business, a copy of the Bill of Rights.

"I think should do background checks at gun sales, store, but I don'tthink should have to do a background check if it want to give my mother a pistol to protect herself from some prowler," said Powell.

Danielle McQueen has a little different take on gun control debate, which is influenced by her younger brother who was killed three years ago by an assault-type weapon.

"I don't believe every Joe should walk around or have access to an assault rifle," said McQueen who has no problems with people having weapons for personal protection.

Following the Sandy Hook shooting, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was processing nearly 4,000 background checks a day.  No breakdown is done by county or how many guns were ultimately purchased since a person could decide not to buy a gun or buy several.

"I believe strongly in the Second Amendment," said Richard Harrington, who recently was shopping for a rifle. The retired FBI agent candidly stated, "I am a live member of the NRA (National Rifle Associaiton). I think that answers your question."

A Jacksonville woman who lost her only brother to gunplay believes national debate is not only needed, but healthy.

"I feel with so many things going wrong, people getting killed. There is some form of stronger gun control needs to be put in place," said McQueen.

First Coast News

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