Gun sales skyrocket along with demand for assault rifles - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Gun sales skyrocket along with demand for assault rifles


A Wausau gun shop owner says sales have doubled since the Sandy Hook massacre, including demand for assault rifles. Wausau's police chief says those numbers are alarming.

Employees at Central Wisconsin Firearms on the city's east side told Newsline 9 they're having trouble keeping assault rifles in stock. That includes the Bushmaster AR-15, the same weapon used in the Sandy Hook massacre.

Store owner Fred Prehn said he got a shipment of 10 on Friday. By the afternoon, there was only one left.

"It started the next day. People started coming in and trying to get weapons and guns that were used in the shooting," he said.

He said it's a popular sport rifle used in hunting. Overall, he said gun sales have doubled in the last two weeks because customers tell him they're worried their second amendment rights will be taken away.

"We usually sell about 50-60 per month. Since the shooting in Connecticut, we've sold over 225," he said.

Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said the rush to buy guns is alarming.

"There's so much violence already with weapons and with guns," Chief Hardel said.

He and some other law enforcement agencies advocate for longer waiting periods for people who buy guns. In Wisconsin, there is a 48-hour waiting period after purchasing a handgun.

Prehn said there is currently no waiting period for assault rifles. Someone can purchase an assault weapon and leave the store with it in the same day, as long as they pass a background check.

That makes Chief Hardel worried.

"I think the background check should go a little bit deeper," he said.

Prehn said he would support a longer waiting period, but not banning the gun altogether.

While demand for guns remains high, both the police chief and local gun shop owner said they want to make sure the wrong people don't end up with them.

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