What's driving Americans' desire to arm themselves? Hyatt believes that much larger and more constant forces than intermittent mass shootings drive gun sales.
"I think the economic downturn was so severe that it made a good portion of the American people lose confidence in their institutions," he says. He adds that politics seem to drive sales, as people stock up when they perceive that the laws might grow stricter. President Obama, for example, suggested in a presidential debate the possibility of introducing an assault weapons ban.
"We have seen a 50 percent increase in sales since the election," he says.
Grice agrees that his store has seen an uptick in sales since Obama's reelection, but the 2008 election had a far greater impact: "We did see a little bump for a short period of time there, but not anywhere near where it was in 2008."
In fact, as U.S. News' Rick Newman reports today, some in the gun industry credited the president's 2008 election for subsequent booming gun sales.
The president of Atlantic Guns has not yet responded to requests for comment, but the Silver Spring outlet of the store saw steady business on Monday. Standing outside the store, Davis said that he's going to make sure he is well supplied, because he believes firearms and ammunition will sell fast.
"I make sure I have a few boxes [of ammunition], because the prices are going to go up. Things are flying off the shelves," says Davis. "We don't have the budget for it, but my wife is like, 'Go get what you need.' Everyone's doing it."
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Danielle Kurtzleben is a business and economics reporter for U.S. News & World Report. Connect with her on Twitter @titonka or via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.