Sales have been up, and so have prices. I have not purchased a single gun lately since Sept because dealers are charging $75 plus from what they were. Glad I have been buying beforehand. Supply and demand really hits hard on opportunity.
Stopped by Wade's today. The place was packed with people, and from what I overheard they were mostly all first-time owners. As long as they get the required training I don't care. I just hate the ones that buy in a panic, load the gun then leave it lying in the sock drawer for ten years until Junior finally finds it.
I was at a gunshow today, and the joint was rockin'! There were a lot of people there, and plenty of purchases being made. I picked up a couple of C&R guns, which didn't have to go through the instant check. Some dealers had a line of four or five people waiting on a check so they could take their guns.
I agree, I think new gun owners should get all the training necessary for safe and proficient use. And, even more training if they choose to hone their skills. But, I don't want any government involvement in what is considered "necessary" in any way shape or form. And, I hope that new owners remember the interference, waiting periods, unwarranted criminal check harassment, layers of paper work (including illegal registration), carry and use restrictions, and additional costs that have been imposed by the government when they go to the polls.
It wouldn't surprise me if prices were up, but I haven't really noticed it around here (northern VA). There was a noticeable spike after the first of the year. Range use is definitely up.