The local sale of handguns is rising

Monday, October 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The war on terrorism has many people in this country looking at protecting themselves at home. For some, that means buying a handgun.

Many local dealers have seen a big increase in sales since the Attack on America September 11th. And as News on Six reporter Diane White finds out, you might be surprised at who is buying the weapons. It’s been the norm for decades, men owning weapons. That's changing.

While America fights back overseas, more women are arming themselves at home. Gun customer Ashley Hope, "I'm actually scared to death of guns - but I'm going to try and get over that." So Ashley Hope stopped by Diamond Jim's Pawn Shop for a crash course on buying a gun. Attorney Toni Beach also stopped by the shop. She has more experience with guns, but has never owned one for protection. September 11th changed that. " I don't want to be a victim, I want to be prepared - most attackers will be bigger than me - I think - I don't want to be a victim, I want to be prepared."

More women - and men have been buying guns since last month's terrorist attacks. Jim Sumner of Diamond Jim's Pawn Shop in Tulsa, "We've noticed an increase - 20% to 30% gun sales." And more people have come to the Tulsa County Sheriff's office to pick up an application for a license to carry a concealed weapon. In fact the number of people requesting these has doubled since September 11th. Toni Beach is ready to take that step. "I've picked up the packet and I've picked out a gun and we’re e making a deal on it. She's picked out a 40-caliber gun. "It's lightweight and it's dependable."

To get a concealed weapon license, you have to go through a background check and pass a weapons test. That means taking a class on handling and firing a gun. The entire process takes about a month.