Doomsday preppers help increase gun sales at local store - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Doomsday preppers help increase gun sales at local store

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Employees at Mark's Outdoors are hard at work ahead of Christmas. Source: WBRC video Employees at Mark's Outdoors are hard at work ahead of Christmas. Source: WBRC video
Customers packed Mark's Outdoors Tuesday evening. Source: WBRC video Customers packed Mark's Outdoors Tuesday evening. Source: WBRC video
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VESTAVIA HILLS, AL (WBRC) -

It may not be a surprise that guns are selling well, but a new demographic is getting credit for an increase in sales at one store.

Mark's Outdoors in Vestavia Hills says that hand gun sales are up 100 percent over this time last year as well as sales for rifles, shotguns and assault rifles.

They say they always see a steady crowd around the holidays but not to this extent. Guns are flying off the racks and at this rate by Christmas the racks will be empty. And part of this high demand is being attributed to one type of customer.

"Doomsday, Myann calendar, things like that. They don't know what's coming so they have to prep for it," Shelly Smith with Mark's Outdoors said.

Smith says of course there are other factors involved but she says you can't leave out the preppers.

"We have them come in, it's not a huge amount of them and we have them come in and they want their protection, whether it's a gun or knife, their supplies, para cord, ammo, all the things you would need to pack up and go for a couple of weeks or months," Smith said.

Smith says they're more prepared than the public may think. She got a glimpse at one of her customer's cars recently.

"He pops his trunk and there's everything in there from water, seeds, clothes, it's got everything to make a new home," she said.

This survivalist lifestyle is becoming so popular Mark's Outdoors even has a special survival kit.

Randy Yerkes says there's everything from water filtration systems to flashlights hand warmers and more in the kit.

Knives, guns, survival gear: they're all hot items for those getting ready for whatever may happen. And while some may think preppers are crazy Mark's Outdoors just sees them as people getting prepared for anything.

"I understand the panic, there's a lot of uncertainty right now," Smith said.

Copyright 2012 WBRC. All rights reserved.

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