CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) - Concerns over violence on Savannah's streets is resulting in an early Christmas for gun stores in our area.
Gun sales here and across the country have taken off in the past six months and show no sign of slowing down. With recent events, some people who have never thought of owning a gun before are making the decision to arm themselves for their own safety.
Right now, there is a perfect storm that is causing a run for the guns. One, you have fear of terror attacks on U.S. soil after the attacks in California. Two, the homicide rate is higher in Savannah than it has been in two decades. Third, there is fear the president will pass guns laws that may impact your ability to get a gun.
"Business is ridiculous. They are running on guns, they are running on ammunition. However, other than the last two runs on guns, there is more of a run on training. People want to know what they are doing," said Matt Harrell, the gun range manager, Patrick's Uniform and Indoor Gun Range. "I think we sold 28 guns yesterday. Over this past weekend was one of the busiest in the history of the store. Ammunition was running low, fortunately we got some more in."
"Business has really been nuts. Guns are flying off the shelves almost faster than we can replace them," said Dick Berman, owner of Thunderbolt Guns. "Last week we had 10 in stock, those disappeared in two days. We have had two more shipments since then that have disappeared."
Several gun shops across Coastal Georgia tell WTOC they are seeing sales triple sometimes up to 10 times the demand they are used to seeing. It is not only a demand for guns or ammo, but also a huge spike in demand for training.
"This is not something you can pick up online. This is something that you have to take a training class for," said Berman.
Both these men have gun training courses and both tell WTOC they are booked well into next year. The climate, whether it is perception or reality, has changed dramatically.
"Here lately it is not enough to just rob people. They no longer just take your money, they will shoot you, they will kill you," said Harrell. "It has a lot more people worried. What kind of gun do I need for self-defense? Do I need a rifle, do I need a shotgun, do I need a pistol? I would say 95 percent is all self-defense."
Remember, no felons can own a gun. If you go to buy a gun there will be a background check. If you want to carry, you have to get a license and that is a little more extensive.