A compact Glock pistol
sits on a counter at Fletcher Arms as a customer
fills out paperwork.
Freeman file photo
WAUKESHA - Gun sales are up at Fletcher Arms in
Waukesha, but owner Sean Eaton said that may be more
related to the holiday shopping season than as a
reaction to recent mass shootings in California,
Colorado and Paris.
Nationally, gun sales are up.
According to data recently released by the FBI, there were 2.24
million firearm background checks performed in November,
compared to 1.8 million in November 2014. In October of this
year, 1.98 million background checks were conducted. After the
first 11 months of 2015, 19.8 million firearm background checks
were conducted in the U.S. compared to a total of 20.97 million
for all of 2014.
number of firearm background checks conducted has steadily
increased during the past 16 years, according to the FBI. For
all of 1999, there were 9.14 million background checks, while a
decade later in 2009 there were 14 million checks performed.
said Fletcher Arms saw people “panic buying” after President
Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and after the Sandy Hook
Elementary School shooting three years ago.
not seen anything resembling that so far,” Eaton said.
after the Sandy Hook shooting, Eaton said he ran out of ammo in
stock. Also, while Fletcher Arms typically carries about 500
guns, he was down to about 100 in stock after the 2012 shooting.
gun sales have increased recently, but “December is always busy
for sales anyway.”
Arms’ distributors are seeing people stocking up on some
gun-related merchandise, Eaton said they have not reported any
of their dealers experiencing panic buying.
Previously, when people stocked up on guns after the 2008
election and Sandy Hook shooting, Eaton said they spent a lot of
money and either got what they wanted or returned to buying more
typical buying patterns. While other retailers would mark up an
$800 gun to $2,000 during the panic-buying, Eaton said prices
remained the same at Fletcher Arms.
while many items have a shelf life, Eaton said if ammunition is
stores property, it can last many years.
gun sales may not be through the roof at Fletcher Arms, Eaton
said people using the gun range is steady.
seen a lot of range increase for years now. It’s the incidents,
panics. A lot of people got into it and people found out this is
a fun thing to do,” he said.
the gun range has become a destination for date nights and
ladies’ night, Eaton said. It also gets busier during the colder
said that many of his customers don’t worry about possible gun
control legislation as much as they did in the past because it
never passes. The presidential election and its ramifications,
on the other hand, Eaton said, does have people nervous.