Illinois gun owners wipe out store inventory amid national debate

President Barack Obama is tackling the issue of gun violence by weighing 19 steps that could be taken through executive action alone.

That could include more detailed background checks and harsher penalties for gun trafficking.

The current debate on gun laws has created a rush to gun shops in the Tri-State area.

"My sources have basically dried up as well as I have," Clive Courty said.

Courty owns the GunFun Firearms store in Quincy, at 24th and Cherry streets.

"I think the unexpected is what they're worried about," Courty said. "This year has doubled in sales, absolutely. Any semi-automatic handgun with a large capacity magazine in it, that seems to be the popular thing right now."

It's a gun that would fall under President Obama's assault weapons ban, if passed. It's become so popular recently, you'll have a hard time finding one in stock. A constant flow of customers has wiped these shelves clean.

'"The manufacturers are having a hard time keeping up with the demand," Courty said.

And it's not just guns ... ammunition sales have skyrocketed, too.

Ursula Flinspach came in looking for 9 mm bullets for her gun at home.

"We've been looking for bullets for probably about a week now. GameMasters is out. Farm and Home is out. I checked with Gander Mountain in Springfield, and they have nothing in stock," Flinspach said. "I'm starting to run into the same people at every store, looking for the very same thing."

Other people are taking a different outlook on the rush.

"I had a magazine I wanted to sell while all the fury is going on, some of the things I don't use," William Hamilton said. "While I was in here, I saw a good price on a gun I'd been looking at, so I decided I'd buy it today."

It was one of about seven handguns left in the store.

"It's an everyday struggle to keep inventory but we're doing the best we can," Courty said.

Courty says he'll visit his suppliers in the south in the coming weeks. There's no guarantee what he'll be able to get.

As for the prices of guns, Courty says the cost of rifles have soared in recent months, but the price of handguns have relatively stayed the same.