Whether it's fear of tighter regulations or fear of a deeper economic crisis, vendors say gun sales are up since the election.
The Nation's Gun Show at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va. was packed. Guns and ammo were selling out. On one table that had displayed weapons for sale, nothing was left but T-shirts for sale.
Annette Elliott, with Showmasters, who put on the gun show, said she believes the biggest reason for the run on guns is President Obama's re-election and renewed fear of a gun ban. During the presidential debates, Obama said he would consider reintroducing a ban on assault weapons.
"People are afraid now that President Obama is back in and they know before he was president he said a lot of anti-gun things," Elliott said.
Although gun buyer Barry Kobe said the president has not earned the fear of gun owners, he said Obama hasn't done much to allay them either.
"This president has done next to nothing as far as what you would call gun control laws," he said.
Kobe said he was happy to go through a background check before purchasing a weapon. He wished other states took more precautions.
"As far as these purchasing of these deadly assault rifles and you can turn around and sell them to anyone you like.. that's asking for trouble," he said.
Some customers say they want firearms not only for protection, but also as an investment. Others fear a financial crisis could lead to civil unrest.
"I personally think there's a really small chance of civil unrest, but there's a small chance of having a fire in your kitchen, yet everyone has a fire extinguisher," seller Bob Starer said.
Whatever the reason, Americans are building arsenals of knives, handguns, collectibles, hunting rifles, assault weapons, and even machine guns.
Background checks were done right at the show, and 175 attendees went through the training course required for concealed carry permits in Virginia.
Elliott said they have also seen a large increase in the number of women buying guns.
"You'd think the main thing women would be afraid of would be assault or robbery," she said. "But ever since 911 we've seen an increase of 5 to 30 percent."