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Gun sales exceeding Palm Beach County shop owner's expectations

Posted at 10:50 PM, Jul 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-21 05:34:23-04

A summer gun sales decline in Florida was expected in a post-election year, but the numbers show it isn't happening.

“We expected a deeper drop. We expected the sales would drop further down and we'll be much slower. And that didn't happen,” Alex Shkop, owner of Guns and Range Training Center in West Palm Beach.

Sales this year are up about 20 percent, more than where he thought they would be. Nationally, they are exceeding expectations too.

He says it all starts with last year's election.

“Expectation was that Hillary (Clinton) was going to win,” Shkop says. “We all overstocked, starting from manufacturing, down to distribution, down to retailers. That may also be a factor because prices are depressed.”

Federal background check numbers give us a good sense of gun sales. June 2016 was the highest June ever recorded. June this year has been the second highest.

So what kind of gun are people buying?

“Pistols that people can carry,” he says.

Which brings us to the second reason for the increase in gun sales, according to Shkop.  Fears are growing about domestic terrorism and community violence.

“They are saying they would be more comfortable trying to defend myself. Firearms make the most logical choice because not everyone is a black belt,” said Shkop.

Pew research validates that statement, saying 67 percent of gun owners say they own their weapon for protection.