Gun sales on rise this holiday season

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WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — They’re the hot ticket item topping millions of Christmas lists this year.

No, we’re not talking dolls or bicycles, but guns, WSHM reported.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, gun sales are usually high during this time of year. However within the last month, the number of guns and gun permits have risen higher than average.

Nationwide, gun background checks increased to over 2.2-million in November.

That is 24-percent higher than last year.

The FBI said the jump in sales is partially because of low deals from gun manufacturers, but it’s also driven by the recent terror attacks we’ve seen both here at home and abroad.

Although the national average may be on the rise, here in Massachusetts that number has dropped.

Last year about 180,000 background checks were conducted.

With this year only sitting at about 145,000.

Still gun shops in Western Mass like, Guns Inc. said they’ve seen a steady flow of customers since Black Friday.

“We have seen an uptick in sales. Primarily since the attacks in Paris. That’s when things started to accelerate more people want to stalk up now for whatever reason they’ve felt,” said store clerk Michael Meunier.

Meunier said he’s noticed a whole new wave of customers come into his shop, primarily women, who are looking to either purchase a fire arm or are just curious to learn about them.

“A lot of women are lining up for our safety courses which is good to see because the industry has been unfortunately male dominated. So it’s nice to see women get into the sport as well,” said Meunier.

Guns Inc. also holds gun permit classes on a monthly basis and Meunier said they have been filling up fast.

“Normally, we have one class per month, but we’ve fully booked our classes for November and December. In January we are now running two classes instead of one,” explained Meunier.

He said he has seen a few guns purchased as gifts, but the majority of sales have been for protection purposes.

“The most common sale here is personal defensive fire arms, something concealable, something light weight,” said Meunier.

Under federal law, giving a gun as a gift to another person in your own state is legal.

However, under Massachusetts law, the person receiving that gift needs to be licensed.