Gun sales up - owners say possible weapons ban increasing sales

PRAIRIEVILLE, LA (WAFB) - Talk about tougher gun laws has soared following the Connecticut school shootings, but gun sales are also soaring. While some chain stores have removed the type of semi-automatic rifle used to kill those 20 elementary children, the AR-15, local shops are busy. But owners say it's not because people are looking solely to protect themselves.

C. J. Hebert, owner of Hebert Gun's in Prarieville, says he's noted more people coming in to buy.

"Been like that for several months. Everybody's been [sic] wanting to buy the AR rifles AK-47, in fear they may not be able to buy them sometime in the future," Hebert said.

He says for months, those who fear a ban on semiautomatic weapons have been buying.

President Barack Obama has said he would consider a ban on assault style rifles. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says the President is moving forward as he said he would.

The last gun ban, the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, was in 1994. It prohibited the manufacturing of 18 specific semiautomatic weapons. The ban expired in 2004. Next year Congress will be asked to consider a similar ban.

Hebert says shoppers at his store are not just looking for personal protection. He says December is their busiest month because of Christmas and hunting season. But he adds that women, who happen to be teachers, have also been shopping around.

"We've got teachers that come in, always upset. Lot of lady teachers, they're concerned. They leave sometimes late at school, its dark, they can't pack a gun to protect themselves because it's a gun free zone," he said.

For Hebert and some other gun shop owners 9News spoke with, they feel guns are tools that can potentially prevent dangerous situations.

"It's a deterrent, so I mean, if they know you have a gun - if somebody at school is there protecting these kids, you're not going to see that happen."

Walmart has pulled a similar semiautomatic rifle from its website. Dick's Sporting Goods says it has suspended the sale of certain assault style rifles as well.

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