Gun sales up, no sign of slowing

Despite a slumping economy and ever-worsening retail sales, firearm sales are on the rise.

Gun sales are up nationwide and it's a business that, so far, seems to be recession proof.

"It's probably the only industry in the entire nation that's showing a profit of any kind," said Doug Alley, owner of Ammo Alley.

Business at Ammo Alley is booming. With so many people looking to buy guns, Alley said they're struggling to keep up.

"People that would normally buy one, two boxes of ammunition are buying cases upon cases," he said. "Supplies are running low. Certain things we've had difficulty getting."

This is a time of year when gun sales are supposed to be slow. But Ammo Alley is seeing a 50 percent increase in sales, according to the owner. And national trends are showing the same thing.

In February gun sales were up 23 percent over last year, according to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System. In January sales went up 28 percent, in December they rose 24 percent and after the election gun sales shot up 42 percent.

Another sign gun sales are on the rise is the lack of the Form 4473 among gun retailers. That federal document is required to be filled out by those wanting to buy a gun. The problem is many stores have run out and the government can't print enough to meet the demand - so retailers are making their own copies.

Indeed, fear seems to be the spark for driving up sales.

First time buyers like Amy Thompson, 26, say they're worried the bad economy will just breed more crime.

"That scares a lot of people...especially women," said Thompson. "So I want to be prepared."

Others say uncertainty with the Obama administration is creating a mad dash to stock up. This, despite reassurances from the president that he won't step on their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

"I believe in common sense gun safety laws and I believe in the Second Amendment," Obama said shortly after winning in November. "And so lawful gun owners have nothing to fear."

Still, that hasn't seemed to calm people who point to his support for a permanent ban on assault weapons. And that growing doubt is leading to a trend gun owners say shows no signs of slowing.