Local Owner Says Guns Sales Are Up

By: Erin Myers Email
By: Erin Myers Email

It's a national controversy that has people talking across the state. Following the events in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama is calling for action to reduce gun violence.

Clark Williams is owner of Old Market Firearms in Hastings. He says Obama's statements have made customers concerned about the future of their right to own a gun.

"This morning, the phone has been ringing off the hook. People are getting a little paranoid about what's going on," said Williams.

Williams says he's been selling a lot of guns. More than usual around the holiday season. Those numbers are reflected in the amount of people applying for handgun permits in Grand Island.

"In the past week we've had 53 applications for purchase permits, but the 53 applications in one week is a lot of permits for us," said Steve Lamken, Grand Island Police Chief.

But Lamken says they can't attribute the higher numbers to anything in particular.

"There are more applications this time of year due to Christmas buying so its not atypical. It's maybe a little higher but the City continues to grow," said Chief Lamken.

Regardless of the motivations behind applying for a permit, Capt. Greg Ahlers with the Hall County Sheriff's Office says putting policies in place won't necessarily keep guns out of the wrong hands.

"We have the same problems any city has. There's a lot of burglaries, weapons are stolen from homes. Occasionally businesses that sell weapons are broken in to," said Ahlers.

On Capitol Hill, pro-gun members of Congress say stricter gun laws are not the only solution. President Obama agrees access to mental healthcare needs to be looked at across the county.

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