POSTED: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 - 5:39pm
UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:59am
TYLER - Jessica Phifer is a proud, gun-toting mom.
She likes to hunt. But more importantly, she fears crime and disorder in an uncertain economy.
"It's getting to the point where everybody needs a firearm," said Phifer. "There is so much coming into our city now that you need to protect yourself."
Phifer shops at Shootist Gun & Knife Shop in Tyler.
Store owner Mack Woods says he's seen a dramatic increase in sale the last few months.
"In September, I experienced the largest volume of sales this year," he said, "and possibly since I've been in business for 22 years."
And that sentiment seems to agree with the national trend.
State and federal statistics show a 25 percent spike in gun sales the last few months.
Woods says one reason more people are buying guns: they're afraid criminals will turn desperate in bad economic times.
"We're selling a lot of handguns geared toward personal defense."
But he says he's hearing another reason even more.
"There is some fear generated by the impending elections. Fear that perhaps they will not be able to buy firearms once the election ended."
According to the Washington Post, law enforcement and industry data and anecdotal reports show that guns are selling well this year. In 2008, there were 8.4 million background checks from Jan. 1 to Sept. 28, compared with 7.7 million in the same period last year, a 9 percent increase, according to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Phifer says she hopes neither presidential candidate takes away her gun rights.
"If we didn't have firearms, many of us wouldn't eat. Because a lot of us eat from the woods."