DES MOINES, Iowa — Law enforcement and gun dealers say that they are seeing a rise in gun sales and applications for carry permits in Iowa.
The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/1WJXavg ) reports that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System says Iowa had 25,941 firearm background checks conducted in December 2015, more than in any other month last year.
The Polk County Sheriff's Department says it saw about 1,000 more gun carry permit applications than usual last month. According to Chief Deputy Thomas Gibbs, the Scotts County Sheriff's Office is usually able to issue same-day gun carry permits, but the increase in applications has extended the wait time to get the permit to two or three weeks.
Woodbury County Sheriff Dave Drew says he believes that influx is the result of rising safety concerns following high-profile gun crimes.
Tom Hudson, manager of CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, says the number of new customers at his shop quadrupled last month, and he's surprised that gun sales have not dropped off since the usual holiday increase. The gun store, which offers shooting classes four to six times a month, has a waiting list for people to get into the classes into February and March. Each class has 12 to 18 students per class.
The co-owner of Sioux City gun store American Brothers in Arms, Chase Cejka, says that sales have increased to 25 percent from 20 percent at the same time last year. Cejka says that many of his customers cite President Barack Obama's views on gun control as a reason for purchasing their first gun or buying more firearms.
"We are running low on guns. We're selling them faster than we can get them," Cejka said.
According to Hudson, customers want to protect themselves and some are concerned about domestic terrorism.
"They're more worried about (terrorism) than that they won't be able to buy guns anymore," Hudson said.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com