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NC sees run on guns, ammo

The number of people packing heat nationwide has spiked in recent months - partly because of worries the recession will lead people to crime. . . but also because of politics. WFAE's Julie Rose reports: The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's office has issued twice as many concealed weapons permits in the last 12 months as it did the year before. And the wait to get one is at least three months. The mandatory safety classes are also much larger now. "Normally I'd have 10 or 15 in a class," says Rowan County firearms safety instructor Claude Paris. "In November it jumped to 35 or 40 every class." Paris thanks President Barack Obama for the boom in his business. "Guns are flying off the shelf fast as they can stock 'em in the store," says Paris. "And I've asked some of those people 'Why are you buying those guns and hording them?' They say 'Well we're kinda worried.' Worried about what? 'What he might do.'" The Obama Administration has tried to dispel fears that it's planning to crack down on gun rights. Gun safety instructor Dan Starks says many of his students are getting concealed weapons permits now just in case they become harder to get or Congress tries to raise taxes on ammunition. And in the 20 years he's been teaching gun safety in Mecklenburg County, Starks says he's never had such trouble buying bullets. "If you go to any of your major chain sporting good stores, if they have any hand gun ammunition, you're limited to 3 boxes," says Starks. "I mean it's almost like they're rationing it because there's been such a run on it." The shortage is particularly severe right now for a small .380 caliber pistol Starks says is popular with women. Some local sporting goods stores say it's been months since they had that ammunition in stock. And it's not just Mecklenburg County. Concealed weapons permits are on track to more than double statewide.