SAN ANTONIO – More people are taking advantage of the right to bear arms.
Gun shops are celebrating a record-setting Black Friday as some customers buy weapons for the first time, and the high-caliber sales even took the FBI by surprise.
Dealers are required to call the FBI for background check requests, and on Black Friday they spent a lot of time on hold.
The FBI shattered a record: nearly 155,000 phone calls in one day, causing its call centers to experience outages.
“It doesn’t actually surprise me,” gun shopper Robert Wager said while browsing Texas Guns on the northwest side.
He said his family wanted a gun to protect their home.
"I believe a lot of people should have at least one sort of firearm in the house,” Wager said.
Texas Guns’ owner Jerry McCall said his store was on target with the national trend on Black Friday.
"It was a madhouse,” he described the crowd.
McCall said since President Barack Obama was reelected earlier this month, more people feel under the gun to get one in anticipation of possible new laws restricting gun ownership.
"They want to be able to defend themselves because they've lost confidence in our legislators,” McCall said.
He said lately, first-time buyers have been older and in the market for tactical rifles.
"And they really haven't hunted or used a firearm,” McCall said about the new customers.
He’s also sold to customers who may be preparing for a “doomsday” scenario as we end 2012, in case the Mayans were right.
"His response to me was, 'I bought my gold. I have my food. And now I'm buying the gun so I can keep my gold and my food,”’ McCall quoted one customer.
But with more people shelling out, supply can’t keep up with demand: most gun and ammo makers report back orders of at least a year.
McCall says not surprisingly, training classes are also seeing a record number of students as new owners get educated on gun safety.