Pickins were slim at gun stores in several parts of Texas this week. Today I visited a brand new Academy in Houston and it's normally full racks were just about bare. I've been in Academy stores many times after Christmas, and while sales of guns certainly increase for gifts, I've never seen bare shelves like I saw tonight, even in the Clinton years.
The long gun rack at Academy was damn near bare. There were three double barrels, a handful of bolt action .22's, a couple of cheaper bolt action/scope combos and that was it. I didn't see any Glocks in the case either, and usually they have a good number of those on hand.
Usually they have displayed about 200 or so guns with many in the boxes above them.
The Academy ammo shelves were bare, of course, of any .223 or 5.56, 7.62 x 39 or 9mm. At all stores I've visited there were some Glocks and other high capacity handguns, but those are selling at a rapid clip as well.
Interestingly, they had 4 Pro-Mag 20 round AK mags on the rack still at regular prices. That was it as far as high capacity mags.
Last week, I visited another Academy in San Marcos while passing through there. They had some 20 round AR mags that sold before my very eyes, and a couple of the .22 version of the M and P rifle. They still had pump shotguns and other lever and bolt action rifles as well.
Still, they were running low on Glocks at that point before Christmas, and their shelves were bare of the same ammo mentioned above.
One of my friends, Max, was talking about capitalizing on the fact that a lot of folks were trading in some pretty tricked out hunting bolt action rifles to get themselves a so-called black rifle in the past week. He was talking about hitting a couple of his favorite gun stores over the holidays to try to find a bargain on a great rifle with serious work having been done to it.
I have a friend who owns a gun store nearby, and when visiting him the other day I watched several folks come in with some nice Remington 700's to put in trade on a black rifle.
He made so much money last week he decided to book a last minute guided trip to one of the mountain states for big dollars. I don't know what he's hunting but I'm sure it's large and expensive to hunt. Besides, he's sold out of all the same things other stores are now, and business is more or less back to normal for all the other kinds of customers his shop draws, like black powder and hunters and the like. So he left it in able care and took off.
Gone Fishin', as it were.
My friend still had some moderately priced AK's and SKS's on the racks, but none of the AR-15 (I'm old school)/M4 type rifle around. Those were the ones selling like hotcakes. Two weeks ago, he had probably 60 of these rifles on his wall.
Also, he said that any kind of pistol grip or short barreled "home defense" type shotguns are disappearing from shelves as well.
He had, and I say had, a shipping container full of new 30 round metal Government AR mags stored at his land, and was selling several thousand a day, and basically emptied the shipping container in just over a week. And at greatly inflated prices, I might add.
I've got another friend I emailed the other day, he's a gun shop owner as well. He still had ammo, because he had been stockpiling the above-mentioned calibers and magazines for the AR, the AK and Glocks for years in anticipation of current events. They, I might add, did not jack up their prices on guns, ammo or magazines in response to recent events. Their prices on magazines were always higher than you could find elsewhere for the past few years, but now they are bargain priced compared to the high pricing going on for these items.
He said sales had been brisk, doing almost a years worth of business literally in a week, and they had sold all but one or two of their black rifles and all but two of many AK's.
Because they had stockpiled lots of black rifle ammo, they were moving huge amounts, limiting buyers to 100 rounds of each variety to ensure all customers could get some ammo. Again, they were selling Tula ammo for the same low price they've always sold it, a few cents more than Wal-Mart.
He was VERY concerned about getting any more merchandise anytime soon, be it black rifles, high capacity magazines or even ammo. He's no newbie, he's been in business something like 30 years. He and his partners have multiple suppliers, but many of them are not in a position when to predict they will have more product. His concern is going out of business when their inventory is gone.
Both of these shops make a lot of their money off of either trade in's or folks selling them guns. Both of these stores say that good or great quality trade in's have slowed, with sort of lower tier guns coming in as trades for the black rifles instead of the better and more expensive guns they were getting as trades before two weeks ago.
He told of folks walking in the door wanting to sell SKS's, and not particularly good examples or models of them, for several thousand dollars. While one day that might happen, that's not today.
I have not checked the ammo cabinets at WalMart to see what their stocks are, although I went as recently as last night for a quick trip. In the past, it's always been feast or famine at the wallyworld ammo cabinet. Either they have lots of everything or they are out of all the stuff I'd be interested in, which is a wide range.
The nearest WalMart to me doesn't sell guns, only ammo, but other Walmarts in the area do sell guns, and I suspect their business for Ruger Mini-14's has been brisk, as that's the gun I usually see for sale in Wallyworld that would be on the ban list. I do know that on the website wallyworld has a vast amount of firearms that are for sale.
I heard disappointing news about Cheaper Than Dirt and Dick's Sporting Goods regarding their policies on the sales of certain rifles. I've done a lot of business over the years with the former and some in the recent past for El Fisho Jr. with the latter, for several hundred dollars. They have a square stern canoe for sale at Dick's that I've had my eye on since I saw it at a Dick's in Las Vegas, and I recently saw one at a store in Texas.
I'll be refraining from any patronage of Dick's in the future, and have a wait and see attitude for Cheaper Than Dirt in terms of what their final statement will be on the subject. It's a shame because I've seen some really nice double barreled shotguns at very reasonable prices at Dick's, and although not in the buying mode for them currently, it was certainly on a list of possibles for the future for skeet and trap shooting.
It will be interesting to see the response of companies in the near future. Please feel free to post comments, with links please for verification, of other companies who are going for politically correct instead of supporting the Constitution.