- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 23, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) — The number of Texas residents seeking federal permission to purchase firearms has dropped 18 percent this year as fears of tougher regulations subside.

Experts attribute the slowdown to waning fears of stricter federal regulations, The Houston Chronicle reported (https://bit.ly/1pbdWRV ). Gun sales spiked across the nation after the Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school massacre in 2012.

Texans submitted nearly 1.1 million requests to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from January to August 2013. That number has dropped to about 910,000 for the same period this year. The bureau conducts computerized checks to determine if a person has certain criminal convictions or other issues that would prohibit the gun purchase.

“Some of the concern over certain types of firearms just disappearing may have been satisfied,” said Alice Tripp of the Texas State Rifle Association. “Some of the concern has relaxed since nothing from Congress has happened. Various types of firearms and ammunition are still being made. Nobody has knocked on your door and taken anything.”

Still, a spokeswoman for the bureau’s Houston office says it’s too early to know a definite reason for the decline.

“One of the possibilities is people are getting their guns somewhere else,” said Special Agent Nicole Strong.

Jeremy Alcede, CEO of Tactical Firearms in Katy, also said the decline is due to eased tensions over whether President Barack Obama or other lawmakers would push for stricter gun laws. He said his sales in 2013 jumped from an average to $1 million per month to $1 million per week. Alcede says customers put off making mortgage and car payments in order to buy guns.

“We had a huge influx,” Alcede said. “Obama has been the gun industry’s best salesman four years in a row.”

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, https://www.houstonchronicle.com


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