Local Gun Sales Drop

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- Local gun store owners are reporting a dip in gun sales. 

Last year, fears of a federal ban on assault weapons led to a sharp spike in sales, but that trend is now over.  Demand for those assault weapons has slowed down.  
 
Local gun store owners say the spike was fueled by the threat of gun restrictions in the wake of President Obama's reelection and a series of mass shootings. 
 
"Any bans have gone to the wayside and people are not as concerned about them being banned," said Country Boy Guns and Ammo owner Jamie Hargett. "I think that's probably pushed the sales down a little bit." 
 
The government's failed attempt to restrict military-style semi-automatic rifles is being blamed for the dip in sales, but business is far from dead. Harget says his business has received a boost because Illinois police are now issuing concealed carry permits.   
 
"We are now selling more handguns, anything small or light that people can put in their waistband or in their pocket even," explained Hargett.  
 
Handgun sales need to remain strong in order to offset the drop in assault rifle sales. Gun store owners are also dealing with a nationwide shortage of .22 caliber ammunition, which has driven up prices and reduced profits.   
 
"We used to be able to get a 50 round box of .22 for probably a couple of bucks, and now it's probably double that," explained Hargett. 
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