Local gun shows and business seeing decline in sales

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KINSTON, N.C. (WNCT) – A surge in gun sales continues to boost the economy across the country, but local gun shop owners say the surge is slowing down.

“We’ve sold a lot of guns, so I think people already have them,” said Bill Sanders, owner of Pony Express Guns and Ammo.

Dozens of gun shop owners spend many weekends at local gun shows, selling their merchandise.

Sanders said last year his business was booming; now he’s seeing a 30 percent drop in sales. He said summer months are usually slow, but he thinks a new law is to blame.

“The North Carolina law which makes you wait longer for your permit. People don’t like waiting. It takes longer to get permits and it takes longer to get your conceal carry as well because of the background checks taking longer,” explained Sanders.

The law went into effect in December.

S&D Gun Show owner Sherwood Caraway said last year the Sheriff issued permits at the gun show, now that can’t happen.

Caraway explained, “The court has the right to hold a permit up for two weeks because of the mental illness aspect. That knocked the sheriff out of doing permits at the show and of course that hurt sales.”

He said his shows are still crowded, but believes it could be busier if gun permits could still be issued at certain shows.

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