MILWAUKEE (AP) -- Firearms-related businesses in Wisconsin say they are having a difficult time meeting demand from rising gun sales in the state.
Wisconsin's gun sales follow a national trend, and businesses say the rising demand is being driven by various factors, from Wisconsin's concealed carry law to presidential politics.
"It's incredible," said Steve Lauer, owner of Lauer Custom Weaponry, which manufactures firearms, firearm coatings and accessories in Chippewa Falls. "We can hardly keep up."
Exact figures on firearms sales don't exist, but based on the number of calls made to the FBI and Wisconsin Department of Justice for background checks related to firearms purchases, more guns are being sold this year than ever, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Sunday.
The 16,000 calls to Wisconsin's handgun hotline in February were a record. This year, the hotline has handled more than 53,000 calls and it's on pace to surpass 2011, when the hotline handled nearly 90,000 calls.
But not everyone sees the increase in gun sales as a positive thing. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the nation's most prominent gun-control organizations, said higher household gun ownership "correlates with higher rates of homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings."
The Brady Campaign also said "the percentage of American households with a gun has been steadily declining over time" and that gun sales are concentrated among people who already own guns.
Regardless, the renewed interest in guns has been good for arms-related businesses across Wisconsin. ___
Information from: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel