County Sales Plunge for Once-Popular Rifle

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Gun owners may have been relieved when Donald Trump was elected, but you can’t blame gun shop owners if they have a few mixed feelings. While former President Obama was a boon to gun sales, the new president hasn’t been.

Reflecting a national trend of a drop in firearms sales, shops in Van Zandt County are seeing the effects of a president who is more gun-friendly. Especially when it comes to AR-15 rifles.

David Wiley, owner of Wiley’s Gun Shop in Wills Point, says that business for him has remained strong, but the type of firearms people are buying has changed noticeably since Trump’s election.

“They’re back to buying normal stuff, like bolt action rifles and hunting shotguns,” Wiley said. “I’m still selling some of the AR-15s, but I’m now selling maybe one a week rather than 20.”

Despite the AR-15 plunge, Wiley anticipates a strong couple of months in his business, as customers come in to use their income tax refunds for a new gun. He also predicts a big increase in business if Washington lawmakers pass the Hearing Protection Act, which would allow easy over-the-counter sales of suppressors, which shooters can attach to the barrels of most weapons to reduce the sound somewhat.

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