YAKIMA, Wash. — Like Wal-Mart stores in other parts of the country, the megastore’s Terrace Heights location is all but sold out of semi-automatic rifles. The store’s online site indicates most items are out of stock. The company saw a rush of gun purchases after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and eight adults — including the shooter — dead.
President Barack Obama and even gun-rights proponents in Congress have called for stricter gun laws. While gun control advocates want to reduce or stop the sale of high-powered rifles like the Bushmaster model used in the Newtown shooting, they may have inadvertently increased them in the short term.
People concerned about potential new gun restrictions have rushed to buy the weapons while they can, reports Bloomberg News. Buyers have cleaned out retailers’ inventories, and driven up prices for ammunition magazines on eBay.com.
After the Dec. 14 shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods suspended sales of semi-automatic rifles, according to Bloomberg News.
It’s not the first time that fears about increased restrictions have driven up gun and ammo sales in Yakima Valley. The area saw a similar spike when Obama took over the Oval Office.
Obama said today that gun control would be a “central issue” of his second term.
• This post has been updated to reflect that eBay.com does not sell guns.