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Fear of Gun Ban Legislation Spurs Buying Frenzy at New Hudson Store

Local gun enthusiasts, sportsmen and collectors rush to recently opened Bill's Gun Shop & Range to purchase firearms in fear of new weapon ban legislation in the wake of the Newtown school shooting.

Over the past week, business has been quite literally booming at Bill's Gun Shop & Range.

Amid the muffled bangs and snaps of the indoor shooting range behind bulletproof glass, customers lined up three deep at cash registers Wednesday afternoon and busily browsed the sales floor of the new shop. Staff members had their hands full answering customer questions, completing transactions and trying to keep inventory on their walls.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, CT, on Dec. 21, and the subsequent calls for firearm bans, has prompted gun and shooting sport enthusiasts to buy now while the products are still legal.

"There is a buying/collecting frenzy taking place in the last five days," store owner John Monson said on Wednesday.

Monson owns two other Bill's Gun Shop & Range locations in the Twin Cities metro area, and he opened the store in Hudson just three weeks ago, and he says the buying frenzy is nationwide.

"My backstock is gone, and I can't get more through distribution right now," Monson said. "Ammo is getting to that point too."

And the buying surge appears to be almost entirely fear-based. Not fear of bad guys with guns, but fear of new legislation turning their hobbies into crimes.

Monson said he has had several conversations with customers in the last week who said they had always wanted a certain kind of weapon and came in to buy it before any anti-gun legislation was enacted. Monson has his own ideas of what sort of dialogue should occur before any legislation is enacted.

"Instead of putting in some stupid assault weapons ban that — over the 10 years it was in before had no value in reducing violent crime — why don't we actually take the opportunity to through the emotional knee-jerk reaction away, sit down with both sides of the fence — both extremes with an educated common sense person in the middle take all their feedback — and make legislation that would add value," Monson said. 

In press conference Friday morning in Washington DC, the National Rifle Association broke its weeklong silence following Newtown school shooting and offered its solution in the form of a surge of gun-carrying "good guys" around American schools.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre called for a new kind of American domestic security revolving around armed civilians, arguing that "the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun."

That sort of future would undoubtedly be even better for long-term business at Bill's Gun Shop & Range.

Michael Dinan and Davis Dunavin contributed to this report.

Where do you stand? What's the best way to protect school children from gun violence? What sort of action, if any, would you like the government to take? Tell us in the comments.

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Elisabeth Nelson December 24, 2012 at 02:12 PM
I am sympathetic to Mike (father of two school age boys who does not want guns in his school). However, we can talk and talk about solutions to this problem and find there really is none. We all agree the children in our schools need to be better protected. Consider this: the children of our president go to the Quaker school Sidwell Friends. Sidwell has a security department of at least 11 people. Many of those are police officers. Do you think they are unarmed?
Mike Knox December 24, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Tomorrow we celebrate the birth of a man who asked, "am I not my brother's keeper?" and who asked us to "turn the other cheek." I think too many people misunderstand the cause of the problem and therefore limit the possible solutions. A mentally sick person does not behave like Karen's bank robber or Elsabeth's presidential kidnapper. We must try to identify the mentally ill and help them early on. We must also recognize that taking a life as means to protect our material possessions is a sickness if the soul.
yomammy December 25, 2012 at 06:18 PM
ok roy... "no one is going to take my handgun"...like chicago? like they are ramping up to do with "assault" rifles? It all starts with one.... And you comparison of 500 lb bombs and a rifle....wow...really? What is a "cop killer" bullet exactly? Truth is you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT. Just like "pink slime" it a term the media jump/create on to scare the sheep.
yomammy December 25, 2012 at 06:21 PM
nothing like a tragedy to push political agendas either eh?....
Renee December 26, 2012 at 02:58 PM
I have no political agenda.

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