Shutdown doesn't stop gun sales - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Shutdown doesn't stop gun sales

LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

You can still buy a gun, despite the partial shutdown of the federal government.

There was concern that furloughs would slow down or stop background checks required for gun buyers.

South Georgia firearms dealers are getting lots of phone calls because of the government shutdown, but it has not slowed gun sales. Some say in fact that it has increased business.

Frank Herndon at Backwoods Outdoors requests a background check on a customer for the sale of a gun. Herndon says his customers have said they are confused by the government shutdown and it's effect on them.

Herndon said "Yes they are. I've had several phone calls over the last day or two. People wanting to know if they can still purchase a gun if they have to do a background check."

The answer is yes. Those background checks are done through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System , or the NICS, a division of the Department of Justice Criminal Justice Information Services. Because they are a federal law enforcement division, those employees are not furloughed by the government shutdown. And Herndon says the shutdown has not slowed them down.

Herndon said "We though maybe there was going to be a delay in the process when we started calling in background checks. But so far we haven't seen anything. It's not any slower than usual."

And that's good news, because dealers say South Georgians are still buying.

Herndon said "Gun sales are still up. We're still selling a good amount of guns. Especially since that scare with the guns being banned and stuff. It's started slacking off. More guns out on the market and the prices have come back down. Still pretty strong."

People with Georgia gun carry permits can purchase guns without further background checks, because getting that permit means you have previously passed all those checks.

Media reports from across Georgia and the nation say many dealers have seen their gun sales increase since this government shutdown began Tuesday.

One note, the federal employees handling the checks are not getting paid during the government shutdown continues, but they are still on the job.

Copyright 2013 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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