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Atlanta Armory Sees Dramatic Increase in Sales Following Push for Tougher Laws

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Subway gun stores are seeing more foot traffic. People buy powerful weapons like AR-15s.

The owner of Stoddard’s Range and Guns store on Bishop Street NW in Atlanta said he saw a 20-30% increase in gun sales.

“With all the talk of things being banned, comes the desire to own them before they’re banned,” said Ken Baye, owner of Stoddard’s Range and Guns.

Gun enthusiast Michael Beatty traveled to Atlanta from northeast Georgia on Monday looking for accessories for his gun collection. He said he understands why people are buying guns at such a rapid rate right now.

“A lot of people get nervous and say I better go buy a gun now before I take it right away,” Beatty said.

These concerns could be valid. Democrats, including President Joe Biden, want assault rifles banned — following recent deadly mass shootings — like the one at a Texas school that killed 19 children and two teachers.

As guns skyrocket, people are also searching for guns online at a faster rate. Google saw a 10-fold increase in the number of people searching for weapons like AR-15s in the days following the Robb elementary school shooting. The same thing happened after the mass shootings in Parkland, Florida, in 2018 — and the 2012 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Like all federally licensed gun stores, Stoddard’s conducts background checks on all customers before selling a firearm.

“I would encourage background checks. I think it’s important that people who shouldn’t own a gun don’t own a gun,” Baye said.

The gunsmith owner also emphasized the importance of knowing how to properly handle the gun you are buying and how to lock it properly. Like many gun stores, Stoddard’s offers training in its Bishop Street NW location.