Hunting Seasons, Elections Increase Local Gun Sales
TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KLIX) – Local sporting goods shops say they’re been keeping busy selling guns for the hunting seasons, but some of their owners and shop employees say that thanks to an election year it’s not just rifles that are popular.
The deer and elk openers saw an uptick in rifle sales that have remained steady at Sportsman’s Warehouse, said store manager Reese Widmier. Only now are rifle sales starting to slow at the store as some hunting seasons wind down. But more seasons are scheduled to open, and so he expects sales to continue. Compared with past years, he said sales have been about “status quo” for this time of year.
In another department across the aisles where fishing rods reach toward the ceiling, fishing gear for steelhead is starting to pick up.
“We’re starting to see an increase in sales there,” he said.
West Addison Sporting Goods also has kept busy this fall with rifle sales, said co-owner Tracy Crisp. Her store was busy Tuesday morning when, among other sales, she sold two .30-06 rifles. But it’s not just long-guns that have been selling. The store has moved a lot of handguns.
“We always seem to sell a lot of handguns whenever there’s an election year,” she said. “We’re still keeping busy.”
It’s similar at Red’s Trading Post, where both handguns and hunting rifles have been selling, as has another kind of firearm – the AR-15, said sales clerk Dan Hadley. Sales of those types of guns always pick up during an election year, he said, noting the store started seeing an increase in sales about two weeks ago.
Hadley said if this year is anything like previous election years – and so far sales are shaping up that way – he anticipates the shop will become busier and busier until Election Day.
If Donald Trump wins the presidency, Hadley said he expects gun sales to die down. If Hillary Clinton wins, however, the shop will likely keep busy for at least the first several weeks afterward. The same thing happened when Obama won in 2008.
“They’re afraid that if Clinton is elected she’ll try to put another gun ban out there like her husband did,” he said.
As for hunting rifles, Hadley said it’s been an “average year” for sales, but ammunition for all types of guns also is selling well.