With the recent federal response to the Sandy Hook tragedy, one local pawn shop owner has seen a change in guns and ammo.
“Ammo is almost impossible to find,” said Tim Lewis, owner of Oak Ridge Pawn Shop, 2209 Oak Ridge Dr., Neosho. “Guns are in short supply, but if a person is diligent and really looks for them, you can find them. We keep our store pretty well stocked.”
Within a matter of days after the tragedy in Sandy Hook, Lewis noticed more people coming into his store asking for guns and ammo.
“It was almost instant,” he noted. “People come in and ask me all of the time, ‘what is the easiest ammo to find’ and really, you can’t answer that because it is all hard to find.”
Lewis did note that it is not only his store, but also other stores.
“It is nationwide,” he said. “It is just no centralized to one local place or anything, it is everywhere.”
But it doesn’t stop at ammo; Lewis said guns are also in short supply.
“Supply is pretty strained right now,” he said. “We are on our distributor sites on a daily basis, all day long trying to buy stuff. When we do get something, we are very lucky to get it because it is so hard to find stuff right now.”
Personally, Lewis is not purchasing a lot of ammo mainly because it is hard to buy.
He has seen a spike in prices, though.
“But guns have gone up a little bit in cost,” Lewis said. “If they have gone up in price, in the retail setting, I am going to guess that is probably somebody taking advantage of the situation and overpricing their merchandise. My prices have not gone up. They might have gone up maybe 3-6 percent maybe. Some stuff has gone up a little bit, but for the most part, they have not gone up.”
Asked about what he thinks about the legislative proposals, Lewis said, “I think that it is all talk. I think right now with the current Congress we have I don’t think anything would ever pass. There is not enough support for it. But that doesn’t mean in a couple more years that the next election cycle that that couldn’t change. Some of the panic is warranted, but I think some of it, I think people watch too much Fox News. I want to protect my Second Amendment rights and I am concerned about it, too. I am all for the Second Amendment, without the Second Amendment we don’t have the First. I am a firm believer in that.”