Gun sales are brisk at Albany store - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gun sales are brisk at Albany store

Backwoods Outdoors owner Jackie Sizemore Backwoods Outdoors owner Jackie Sizemore

By Jim Wallace - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –   Violent crime in Albany means gun sales soaring. Gun dealers report that more than a dozen business owners and employees have bought firearms following Monday's hostage situation armed robbery at the Family Dollar in South Albany.

Prosecutors and Police say they are aware that more retail business people in Albany are arming themselves because of fear of violent criminals.

Jerry Harrell works at NAPA Auto Parts on Dawson Road, and is a new gun owner. "Purchased one yesterday," Harrell said. Asked why, he said, "There's just too much crime going on. Everybody you talking to is arming themselves. They sick of it, they tired of it."

The shooting of an Albany hardware store Walter Phelps opening his business two weeks ago, and Monday's armed robbery and hostage situation at the Family Dollar, have gun sales at Backwoods Outdoors booming.

"There's been a lot of people coming in buying, and a lot of them have referenced that. Mr. Phelps getting shot and other things going on down there," said Backwoods Outdoors owner Jackie Sizemore.

Sizemore says most of the people buying are business owners or employees in retail businesses, worried if a violent criminal could be the next one in their door.

"Oh yes, it makes you scared to even go into your place of business in the morning, and especially leaving at night," Harrell said.

District Attorney Greg Edwards said he knows more Albany business people are arming themselves, and says he supports their right to bear arms, but also be responsible. "Number one, have appropriate training, but use it only as a last resort."

Sizemore said he understands business owners fears, and that is why all his employees carry guns.

"Desperate things are happening, and it's making people nervous. You know it's made us nervous. We know we are vulnerable. But we're prepared too," Sizemore said.

The D.A. says people should always call the Police first, and let the trained professionals handle crime, and use firearms as only a matter of last resort in self defense.

  • Based on the number of FBI criminal background checks, more than 14 million guns were purchased in 2009, up 10% from 208
  • There are 223 million firearms out there right now
  • Eight guns are produced every minute by U.S. manufacturers
  • Around 341,000 guns are stolen every year
  • Four people are killed by firearms every hour

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