CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- It’s the Christmas gift that is giving a bang to sales this year.
Local stores say shoppers are buying dozens of guns every day to place under the Christmas tree. Now, NBC Charlotte is looking at what you need to know before buying a gun for someone else.
Gun experts say you might be out of time for this Christmas, especially if the kind of gun you’re looking to buy requires tougher background checks. They say crime in the Queen City is likely one-factor fueling demand.
“Now, we have a lot of self-protection buying as Christmas presents,” says Larry Hyatt, owner of Hyatt Gun Shop.
Hyatt says his store sells an estimated 100 guns each day around Christmas time.
“Some handguns for my wife for a Christmas gift,” said one customer.
However, unlike other gifts, guns require some added paperwork. For one, the person receiving the gun needs to complete a background check first.
“You have to have a permit to buy a handgun, which takes about two weeks to get, so if you’ve waited this long you might have to give them an empty box under the tree and pick it up later,” Hyatt said.
Your better shot might be buying a rifle or shotgun, which Hyatt says typically take five days for a permit to be approved. He says no training is required except for concealed carry, but he urges all gun owners to keep safe storage in mind.
“With technology today, you can get security boxes that you can get your gun really quick, but no one else can,” Hyatt said.
Earlier this year, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department launched a new safety campaign aimed at getting people to properly lock guns in their cars.
They said more than 1,700 guns have been stolen just from vehicles since 2014. According to CMPD, assaults with deadly weapons are down two percent from last year, but there are still more than 1,200 cases in 2017.
Now, some shoppers are hoping to walk away this Christmas feeling safer next year.
“If you ever need it (a gun), then you have a means,” said a customer.
Hyatt says you can always buy a gift card for someone and have them do the background check at a later date.