Boardman store manager: Gun sales up, in part, due to shootings

Another mass shooting has prompted new discussions on gun control, while people rush to the stores to buy weapons.
Another mass shooting has prompted new discussions on gun control, while people rush to the stores to buy weapons.

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The San Bernardino shooting was the 355th shooting involving four or more people this year. The 335th was just two weeks ago at the Southern Tavern in Youngstown.

In that shooting, six people were shot and one was killed, sparking a new round of discussion about gun control.

The FBI is still investigating the possibility that the San Bernardino shooting was an act of terrorism.

Sen. Sherrod Brown said he supports stricter gun laws in the wake of the recent incidents.

“Nobody on the terrorist watch list, nobody on the no-fly list should be able to buy a gun in this country, period,” he said. “We need to close that loophole.”

Ohio Sen. Rob Portman said it may not be that easy. He said most people using guns in crimes tend to obtain them illegally.

“It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have laws in place,” he said. “I do support stronger enforcement of our current laws, but it may not be the solution to the problem that we’re all looking for.”

Portman said he supports background checks, which would be strengthened if data was provided from states on the mental health of applicants applying for gun ownership.

A steady stream of first-time gun buyers are keeping the weapon cabinets busy at Fin Feather Fur Outfitters. The store sold 162 firearms on Black Friday, while the FBI was processing two background checks per second from across the U.S.

Fin Feather Fur’s Boardman store manager Lee Sredniawa said he believed that the uptick of sales is due, in part, to the recent mass shootings.

“We have people coming in looking for that pistol to keep by the bed, or to keep at home, or to carry with them,” Sredniawa said. “We have people coming in looking for rifles, saying, ‘I just wanna be prepared.’ You never know what’s going to happen. There is a sense a little scare in some people.”

While there is no way to tell just how many guns were obtained in Ohio, the FBI tracks the number of gun ownership applications that are processed through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). That shows a major jump in the state of Ohio from October to November of this year, with 62,456 firearm background checks conducted in October and 81,616 in November.

While the number could be attributed to Black Friday shoppers, just 64,249 were processed in November 2014 and about half of that number was processed in November of 1999, just after the checks began in 1998.

In fact, the FBI processed a record number of firearms background checks on Black Friday.

The agency processed a record 185,345 background checks – roughly two per second – the same day that three people were killed and nine others wounded in an attack at a Planned Parenthood office in Colorado, the Associated Press reported.

The previous record for the most background checks in a single day was Dec. 21, 2012, about a week after 20 children and six adults were shot to death in a Connecticut elementary school. The week following the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary saw the processing of 953,613 gun background checks.

The largest number of firearm background checks this year were overwhelmingly conducted in Kentucky, according to NICS data.

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