Printed on: January 26, 2013

Firearm prices keep increasing

By J.E. Mathewson

Demand for guns and ammunition is soaring in eastern Idaho and across the country as Americans react to President Barack Obama's gun-control measures.

Pete Italiano, owner of Universal Security and Training, said many people fear the AR-15 will be the first gun to be banned, so they're buying them as quickly as they can – causing prices to skyrocket.

"An (AR-15) worth $900 three months ago is going for $2,300," Italiano said. "That's too much. It was the gun on the previous assault rifle ban so they think it's going to be the first one attacked. The demand is going high, so everyone is jumping on them."

Italiano said not many people are willing to buy an AR-15 with a $2,300 price tag, but they are buying them for $1,800 to $2,000.

Frank "Jake" Jakubowski, committee member of the Henry's Fork Friends of NRA, agreed that the fear of new gun restrictions is driving up prices.

"Due to Washington's dictates, a number of people are trying to hedge their bets, get what they can now because in the future, it may not be available," he said. "The demand is so great right now (on brass for reloading bullets); the suppliers can't get it fast enough from the manufacturers."

Jakubowski said the shelves at many gun stores are empty in the ammunition aisles.

"Brass for reloading, bullets in some calibers, primers, powder, everything to reload your own ammo (is) empty," he said. "I'm concerned when I get done (at gun expos), will I be able to restock? The answer is no -- not for a while."