Gun Sales Impact Law Enforcement 1/14/13
CBS 7 News
January 14, 2013
Midland, TX - All over the Basin people who protect and serve the public say the rising price and sale of guns are affecting they're own purchases.
It’s causing a domino effect that is giving our local law enforcement new problems.
Justin Barnett says he has been coming to Academy in Odessa every day just to see the new shipments.
When did you start doing this?
“The day they said gun-control.”
He is one of hundreds of West Texans responding to the possible new gun regulations.
“I make it my daily routine to see what guns are there,” he said. “Get them while you can if they (lawmakers) do take them away or if they don't at least we're prepared.”
It’s a concern for many law enforcement agencies that depend on the weapons to protect and serve.
“People bought these weapons speculating that price will go up so they can sell them and make money. That's just good business,” said Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter.
He says they are not at a shortage, but will have to take care of the weapons they do have, replacing them at this time could be close to impossible.
“We need to take care of this not only for our sake but for our citizens sake,” he said.
Midland law enforcement officials say the average price for an AR-15 less than three months ago went for $1,100 now it’s close to $2,300.
Painter says they buy their supplies from an online company, but even they are seeing a shortage and at this rate buying any kind of gun or ammunition will be a financial strain.
“The only way we can pay for weapons is through tax money that citizens had given us to operate on,” he said.
He says the department may have to look at cutting down on target practice to save on ammo if the gun-hype does not slow down, but he says he does not blame people like Justin for their reaction.
“Its not weapons,” Painter said, “It's people.”
“If guns kill people, pencils misspell words, and spoons make people fat,” Barnett said, “That's just the way I look at it.”