2016 was a record-breaking year for concealed carry weapon permits in Ohio but gun sales have fallen an estimated 20 percent since January.
It’s because of the new president, according to Mitch Stanley, owner of Stanley’s Guns and Ammo, 803 W. Jackson St., West Unity.
“Last year, most people were concerned about the election,” Stanley said. “Hillary Clinton was set to be the next president and they were concerned about rights being taken away. That was definitely part of the reason CCW permits were in demand.”
When Donald Trump actually won the election, there was an immediate and negative impact on gun sales.
“We’ve seen a 20 percent decrease nationwide,” Stanley said. “CCW permits are still in demand but gun sales are down and the rest of 2017 remains questionable.
“The fact that no one’s worried about their rights being taken away is not a bad thing,” he said. “I certainly support what the president is doing. He’s a big supporter of the National Rifle Association and everyone realizes he’s not going to attack the Second Amendment.”
Chad Baus, who lives in Archbold and serves as vice chairman and secretary of the Buckeye Firearms Association, agreed with Stanley’s assessment.
“For much of 2016, Americans were operating under the threat of an extremely anti-Second Amendment candidate being elected to the presidency,” Baus said. “Unlike President Obama, who at least tried to hide his anti-gun rights position during the campaign, Hillary Clinton was the first candidate since Al Gore to openly campaign against gun rights. Many people chose to obtain their licenses out of concerns for what a Clinton presidency would do and what changes she would have made to the Supreme Court would have meant for the Second Amendment.”
The fear of losing gun rights is subsiding but bigger fears remain, Stanley said. His shop saw a sharp increase in first-time customers after the Sierah Joughin abduction in July 2016, in Fulton County.
“It was a very sad situation,” he said. “A lot of people, especially women, realized how vulnerable they were and that increased the demand for protection. That’s what drove a lot of the local increases last year.”
For personal protection, Stanely recommended the Smith & Wesson Bodyguard .380 semiautomatic pistol. It’s smaller than a 9-millimeter handgun with less kick and has a built-in laser.
“The laser itself is a good deterrent so you don’t have to fire,” he said. “If you do, it improves your accuracy.” Wherever the red dot lands, the bullet will follow.
He also carries non-lethal weapons, like pepper spray and a Ruger stun gun that pushes 800,000 volts with its own miniature lightening bolt and thunder clap designed to make others think twice about getting any closer. He has a display model ready for demonstrations.
“A lot of people get that for their kids when they go off to college,” he said. “You don’t need any kind of permit to carry one of those.”
Stanley’s Guns and Ammo also offers the eight-hour training seminar required to obtain CCW permit. Classes are held the second Saturday of every month. To reserve a seat, call the shop at 419-924-2112.