Demand For Assault Weapons Rises Sharply


President Obama’s plan for stricter gun control has led to a sharp increase in demand for assault rifles. It’s also meant higher prices and bare shelves at Wisconsin gun stores.

The AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle has always been popular with gun enthusiasts. But since leaders in Washington have begun talking about an assault weapons ban, demand for AR-15’s has gone off the charts. Gun stores around the state say the rush has cleaned their shelves of any remaining assault rifles. Dave Madis owns Greater Midwest Mercantile in Eau Claire. He’s been sold out for a couple weeks and says prices are going up.

“Some of the prices went up because the availability is down and people want it. They want it to shoot, they want it to hunt and they’re afraid it’s going to be taken away.”

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And it won’t do much good to go direct to the manufacturer for an AR type rifle. Top companies like Bushmaster, and Rock River Arms report wait times up to two years for the guns. Stag Arms, which bills itself as the “Worldwide Leader in AR Manufacturing” is so backlogged they’ve stopped answering the phone: “Please know that we are currently experiencing exceptionally high call volume due to increased demand. Current response time is anywhere from five to seven business days for all voicemail inquiries.”

Back in Eau Claire, Madis says the widespread gun fever has caused runs on almost every type of gun and ammunition he sells.

“Right now I can’t even order five round standard, five shot shotguns, five round revolvers, even the cheap common stuff that normally would have nothing to do with the ban.”

But Madis says he doesn’t expect an assault weapons ban to pass Congress and predicts gun demand and prices will eventually return to normal.