Until recently Justin Antill only owned a few guns that had been passed down to him from family members.
Fueled by fears that gun rights could be reduced when President-elect Barack Obama takes office, Antill and millions of other Americans are stocking up on firearms, ammunition and accessories.
Antill, 23, has purchased two guns within the past few weeks. He anticipates buying more.
"I hadn't planned on spending that kind of money, but I'm concerned I may not be able to buy what I want down the road," Antill said. "I think they're really going to crack down on guns and (high-capacity magazine) clips and make them harder to own."
Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, there were 108,000 more background checks for gun purchases than in October 2007, a 15 percent increase. Background checks for gun purchases are up about 8 percent for the year as of Oct. 26, the most recent data available, according to the FBI.
Obama has said he respects Americans' Second Amendment right to bear arms, but that he favors "common sense" gun laws. Gun rights advocates interpret that as meaning he'll at least enact curbs on ownership of assault and concealed weapons.
As a U.S. senator, Obama voted to leave gun-makers and dealers open to lawsuits; and as an Illinois state legislator, he supported a ban on semiautomatic weapons and tighter restrictions on all firearms. While in the Senate, Vice President-elect Joe Biden has supported proposed bans against semi-automatic firearms, magazines that hold more than 10 rounds and additional waiting periods before guns can be purchased.
Despite the candidates' voting records, local residents Bill Hutchinson and Troy Farrell say they don't expect sweeping changes in gun laws. Both are gun owners and Obama supporters.
"I don't believe there will ever be a law to do away with guns," said Hutchinson, 49, of Marietta. "You may see some laws that require registration for some guns, but I don't personally own or use that type of gun."
Farrell, 42, of Lower Salem, said he believes the Republican Party and the National Rifle Association are responsible for creating the fears.
"It was a scare tactic to motivate members to get out and vote a certain way," Farrell said. "I just don't buy into those tactics. We have a constitution and plenty of political figures on both sides that, I feel, will never let anything happen like these people fear."
Jim Stewart, owner of Jim's Gun Shop in Coal Run, said he witnessed a spike in gun sales in 1999 when there were concerns over Y2K and again in 2001 following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
"I would say we're busier now than at those times," said Stewart, who has been in the gun sales business 32 years. "We've doubled our sales in the last month or two."
Stewart said customers aren't only stocking up on guns.
"They're buying ammo and magazines, too," Stewart said. "They're panicked and afraid they won't be able to buy those things. All it would take is for Obama to simply sign an executive order to prevent the import of a lot of our ammunition."
Antill said if gun laws ever change he hopes he would get to keep the firearms he recently purchased.
"I would hope I would be grandfathered in and I would be able to keep them and they would just sit in my home," he said. "If they decided to come and get them, that would be a little different and I honestly don't know what would happen."
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said there has not been a significant increase in new requests for concealed carry permits. There were 10 applications in the two weeks leading up to the election and 18 in the two weeks afterwards, he said. At least a couple of people mentioned the political atmosphere as a reason for their application, he said.
Stewart said gun laws should be a low priority for Obama, especially with the tanking economy and ongoing wars in the Middle East.
"I expect sales to continue to be like this until January and then we'll see what Obama is going to do," Stewart said. "It's just a big panic right now. People tend to panic and then other things take place and they tend to forget about it. I don't know what is going to happen, but I know Obama has other important issues he should be dealing with other than to mess with legal gun owners."
The Associated Press contributed.