Gun Appreciation Day brings out crowds in Upstate - FOX Carolina 21

Gun Appreciation Day brings out crowds in Upstate

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SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Shooting ranges and gun shops across the Upstate were firing off a message Saturday, on what has become the first ever nationwide "Gun Appreciation Day."

Organizers of the movement have encouraged firearms owners and gun rights supporters to send a message to President Barack Obama by peacefully exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms.

According to SLED, first time applications for concealed weapons permits in South Carolina tripled in 2012. Staff at the Firing Line gun range in Spartanburg said they've seen a 50 percent increase in their CWP class enrollment.

A full class of 25 was at the Firing Line Saturday afternoon to get their CWPs. 

"Police do the best job they can, but people have to protect themselves," said student Troy Christensen. "It's crazy out there with the economy, jobs, drugs. People have to protect themselves and it's getting worse every day."

But it's gun sales that have really got the Firing Line buzzing. They say purchases have been up 100 percent in the last month. Stock is low on the guns and ammunition that could be included in the new gun control plan.

"There are a lot of people coming in, trying to buy what they can buy and stock up," said owner Johnny Horton. "It's got to the point now that we are trying to disperse ammo evenly. We aren't letting people come in and buy cases and cases of ammo."

But at the gun range, there are a lot of different opinions on what should happen in the future.

"Some people say they don't have a problem with high-capacity magazines going away, then again one person says it's their right to own what they should have," said Horton.

Staff at the firing line says 75 percent of their business Saturday was new shooters. They say they had kids as young as 7 to adults about 70 years old shooting guns for the first time.

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