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Manchester gun sales see surge in December

Posted on Monday, January 14, 2013 at 8:49 am

Business at Toliver’s Pawn Shop has been good, especially around the holidays. And as of late, especially when it comes to gun sales.

The local pawn shop deals in many types of merchandise but partner Michael Bass says that gun sales at the downtown Manchester shop set records during December.

“Our gun sales are up. We pretty much set records the week before Christmas,” said Bass, saying that the recent school shooting in Conn. and fears of bans have led to increased sales of guns with “high capacity magazines.”

“The week before Christmas everyone was buying anything with high capacity that they think might be subject to a ban later on.”

That onslaught of business left the store out of those types of weapons.

“We don’t have anything available right now but we sold what we had,” explained Bass, saying that could change later.

The spike in sales at Toliver’s falls in line with trends statewide. In December, 5,177 handgun carry permit applications were processed in Tennessee. That dwarfs the count in Dec. of 2011 when 3,221 applications were processed.

But it actually isn’t as many applications as were processed in Dec. of 2008 – when 5,460 were processed. The two biggest Decembers have something in common – they fell one month after presidential elections.

“It was the same thing that happened after the last election,” said Bass. “For two or three months it was this way. And so

Donald Peek (right) speaks with Toliver's Pawn employee Adam Loveless about purchasing a handgun Friday. Peek filled out information for a background check before the gun could be purchased. (Staff photo by Josh Peterson)

far, we have been steady after Christmas.”

Permits are not required to purchase guns in Tennessee, only to carry a handgun. Purchasing a gun through a dealer does require a TBI background check, though.

In Coffee County as of Jan. 3 of this year, 3,438 people over the age of 21 have handgun carry permits, according to the Department of Safety. That is 66 more people than the 3,372 who held permits as of Nov. 1, 2012.

“With the shooting [in Conn.] and gun control being a major issue I’m sure that has spiked our sales,” explained Bass.

Beech Grove resident Teresa Peek was looking to pick up a handgun at Toliver’s Friday afternoon. Peek, who is an Army veteran, believes gun rights should be left alone.

“The fact of it is, some people are ignorant about guns as far as I’m concerned,” said Peek, who served in Korea and has had a handgun carry permit for two years…

Read the complete story in this week’s (Jan. 16) print edition of the Manchester Times. (Click here to subscribe to the print or online edition of the paper.)