Gun dealers say more people want personal protection in light of attacks

Gun dealers say more people want personal protection in light of attacks
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)
(Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Investigators say the attackers who killed 14 people at a banquet in Southern California on Wednesday had more than 1,600 bullets with them when they were gunned down in their SUV.

They say another several thousand rounds were found at their home, along with a dozen pipe bombs and hundreds of tools that could be used to make explosives. Mass shootings around the world continue to push a rise in gun sales.

We know nationwide Black Friday saw more background checks for guns than ever before. The same is true here in Kentucky for one of the biggest gun dealers in the country.

Any time of day, you'll find long-time gun owners and first-time buyers perfecting their shot at the Kentucky Gun Company in Bardstown.

The parking lot is always packed and Black Friday and Cyber Monday brought huge sales. As for the day following a mass shooting in California? It's so busy, you have to take a number to get your gun.

What primarily began as a hunting business in 1946 has completely changed over the years.  With more than 12,000 guns on property, owner Patrick Hayden says around 70 to 80 percent of his sales are now for personal defense.

"If you just look at what's going on in the world around you, you know the response time usually for law enforcement is several minutes, if not more," Hayden said.

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Hayden told WAVE3 News he's certain the recent mass shootings and violence have people worried about personal protection.

"Hands down, that's 100 percent guaranteed," he said. "We are seeing our concealed-carry classes increase every month. We're seeing first-time buyers coming in here increase every month and we're seeing the small little pocket guns (increase in sales). Right now, we have a pocket gun that went on special and we sold over 400 of them in the past 48 hours."

Hayden is talking about the Ruger Pocket 380.

"It's small and fits in the pocket (and) fits in the purse," he said.

Gun owner Allan Jenkins says he doesn't go many places without his weapon and believes more people are starting to worry about their safety.

"I think the world is going through a change now that people like myself do choose to be in charge of my own protection to protect my family," he said.

Nicole Thomas is the store's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives compliance officer.

She said that "around four" buyers don't pass the background checks each month.

Hayden says despite what critics might think about the security of background checks, the ATF is very active at his store.

"We probably have three or four traces a week where the ATF is wanting to trace who purchased the firearm," he said.

Much of the store's business is online. The gun is shipped to a dealer in the area so a background check can be done before the buyer
gets it.

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