Rise in gun sales could increase problem on July 4th - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Rise in gun sales could increase problem on July 4th

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, AL -

Gun sales have been on the rise this year. Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale said he's seen a significant increase in registrations recently.

"The right to keep and bear arms is very precious here in the South and what's gone on the national level has really inspired and encouraged good citizens to go out and exercise that 2nd Amendment right" said Hale.

Jack Hawkins sells guns at Mark's Outdoor Sports.  He's seen an increase in his sales this year. Many of these sales have been people buying guns for the first time. Hawkins said he reminds people about the importance of knowing where you're shooting.

"It is imperative that anyone who is firing a gun knows where they are firing it at" said Hawkins.  

With the July 4th holiday, law enforcement agencies worry about people celebrating by shooting guns in the air.

Sheriff Hale said many new gun owners don't realize the dangers associated with firing a gun in the air.

"There are a lot of new gun owners that don't realize and don't understand and have never thought about what we're talking about and that is, you shoot the bullet up, the bullet comes down."

Hawkins said where your bullet lands is the danger of firing your gun in the air.

"You may think you're shooting it straight up in the air, but it's going to land" explained Hawkins. "It can land many, many yards from where you're firing it."

Celebrating with gunfire is illegal in Alabama. If you're caught, you could be faced with a Class A misdemeanor. If your bullet hits someone, charges could range from assault to murder.

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