HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Local gun shops report sales are up — especially among woman and minorities.
They say the sales are a mix of first-time buyers, people looking for personal protection, and those who fear the legislature will ban certain guns and accessories.
A report on statewide gun sales in the Richmond Times-Dispatch estimated firearm sales soared to nearly 74,000 last month, a 47 percent increase over the previous December.
The report cited mandatory criminal background checks on Virginia gun buyers.
One gun shop manager in Hampton Roads told WAVY.com while sales at his shop have remained steady, only the demographic has changed.
The sale of lower receivers has nearly doubled.
The ATF considers the lower receiver the actual “firearm” part of the gun, although it won’t shoot on its own. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives classifies the lower receiver as a firearm under federal law, and it includes the trigger control group, hammer and firing mechanism, and contains mounting points for the upper receiver, according to the ATF.
The thought is if lawmakers ban assault weapons, as long as you have the receiver you would be able to add parts to complete an AR-15.