Gun Control Debate On Hold, Online Sale Transfers Increase

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HARLINGEN – Congress’ debate on gun control is at a standstill. A Rio Grande Valley gun shop owner said current and future gun owners are in a panic.

This effect is causing longer wait times for background checks.

Harlingen gun shop owner Bryan Guerra said it's due to an increase in online transfer purchases.

The firearms are not going off the shelves in Guerra’s store. The guns are coming in through online transfer purchases.

"We are buying the lower receivers for an AR-15,” said customer Erica Cortez.

Cortez purchased receivers to build AR-15 rifles to keep in her home for her protection. This is Cortez’s fourth time buying gun parts online.

This time it's taking longer than expected for her background check.

"Actually we've been waiting for about 30 minutes just for them to answer the phone so we can do a background check,” said Cortez.

Guerra said background checks usually take three to five minutes.

He pointed out the long background checks are not unusual. He explained the increase in online transfer purchases is.

"So, a lot of our customers are buying online and just having them transferred in here; a little bit higher than normal. We normally see anywhere from three to five a week and we're getting about three to five a day,” said Guerra.

Guerra said the ongoing debate about gun control can give gun buyers like Cortez a chance to make a panic purchase.

"Because there have been people who have been panicked purchased in the past and they get stuck with products that they can't; that's of no value to them that they can't use and when they want to get rid of it they have to get rid of it half the price they bought it for,” said Guerra.

Cortez recommends others to do their research before they buy. She knows others are on a spending spree with uncertainties.

"I know a lot of people are like buying stuff right now kind of quickly because I know they're going to starting banning AR-15’s and all this other equipment stuff,” said Cortez.

Guerra added it's up to the gun owners to follow the laws and use their firearms responsibly.

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