Some area gun dealers say the holiday season is always one of their busiest times, and this year is no exception.
What makes it a bit more hectic this year is a nationwide run on guns, especially assault rifles, in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings Dec. 14, where 20 pupils and six adults were killed, before the gunman also took his own life.
Fears have been ramped up across the country that President Barack Obama may be pushing to ban certain types of assault weapons or clips that can carry a large amount of rounds at one time. Obama has convened a panel to study ways to prevent similar shootings, and the panel will be looking to see if additional gun control measures can help.
Reports that the shooter, Adam Lanza, used a Bushmaster .223-caliber assault rifle, a replica of the AR-15., have some gun enthusiasts fearing the Bushmaster and similar-styled guns will be banned.
Ron Chick of Discount Guns and Ammo in Youngstown said he has been receiving ''too many calls'' from people wondering if he has the model in stock.
Chick said typically he does not stock the weapon, but if someone wants it he can get it in a day. He said he hasn't sold any within the last week because it's too hard to get through to his supplier to get one immediately, and people want to have the gun right away.
The last time he saw a run on weapons like this was when there was talk of banning the popular Uzi submachine gun during the assault weapons ban that was passed in 1994.
Rob Campbell of Targething Pro Shop in Garrettsville said his shop is not experiencing a run on guns so much as ammunition. He said people are afraid there will be a shortage so they have been stockpiling, he said.
He said popular ammunition includes rounds for long guns and handguns.
Campbell said he has received a lot of calls from people looking for an AR-15, but he doesn't carry them.
''There's been a lot of interest,'' Campbell said.
He said so far he has enough ammunition in stock but he cautioned a quick run could leave him scrambling for more.
''If it gets really bad they can clean me out in a couple of hours,'' Campbell said.
Dawn Garland of Rattlesnake Hilltop Sports in Newton Falls said her shop always sees an increase in business around the holidays. She said she also has been receiving calls about getting AR-15 but right now she does not have any.
Garland said the last time she saw a run on guns like this was both times right before Obama was elected. The most popular guns in her shop are ones that can be used by people who want to get a concealed carry permit, Garland said.
Chick said the shooting in Newtown is one of the worst things he has ever seen but he added that he thinks it's wrong to blame guns for the crime.
''It wasn't the gun. It was the nutcase behind it,'' Chick said.