Guns are topping the list of must have gifts this holiday season. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, more than 2.2 million background checks were performed in November and the number is expected to rise in December.
The reason for the uptick in the gifting purchases was a combination of things, according to shoppers at Wilshire Gun in Oklahoma City on Thursday. Many said it was the possibility of terror threats and the fear tighter gun laws are on their way.
Even some law enforcement officials are saying it, like Garvin County Sheriff Larry Rhodes who sent a release saying he's waiving fees for self-defense classes because the “Nation is under attack by domestic and international threats.”
“What's happening what's around the world and around the country that's. A lot of people are basically saying ok now it's time to purchase that firearm,” said Kevin “Gunny” Maxfield.
Maxfield is the training director at Wilshire. He said the gun shop had more customers than expected and saw near record numbers so close to Christmas.
But if you're planning to give a gun, authorities ask you make sure you aren't breaking the law. In Oklahoma, there are virtually no laws about giving guns. But according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, under federal law you can only gift guns without getting money in return, otherwise it's an illegal "straw man purchase" which carries a penalty of up to $250,000 and 10 years in prison.
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, “straw” purchases make it easier for those who should not own a gun avoid background checks, similar to the way the shooters in the San Bernardino, CA attack received their weapons.
Outside of Oklahoma, some states, like Illinois, gifted guns have to go through a licensed gun dealer to register the gift with law enforcement.
“Guns used responsibly are a lot of fun, it's a good hobby to be into so I just try to look at it that way,” Wilshire Gun shopper Nathan Diekman said.