Buyers have been rushing to gun shows across the U.S. in the wake of high-profile mass shootings and potential congressional action to tighten gun laws, reports the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. There has been a focus on toughening background checks, extending them to gun shows and private sales. Bob Pucci of Bob and Rocco Gun Shows says more than 80 percent of the dealers who exhibit at his shows are licensed and perform background checks with 48-hour waiting periods for handguns.
There are unlicensed dealers, too, along with individuals who show up toting a rifle with a price tag in hopes of sealing a private deal. Earlier this year, when it looked like Congress might ban the sale of many types of semiautomatic weapons, there was a run on AR-15 assault rifles. Right now, there appears to be a run on .22-caliber ammunition, buyers clearing the shelves at shops and then scouring the Internet and gun shows for more. With the political rhetoric heating up, Pucci says that crowds at his shows have been two and three times bigger than last year. “They want to be able to buy something,” he says.