"Four years ago it was through the roof, and today it's completely crazy," he said. "I don't have time to return all my phone calls. Gun sales are up at record numbers, as well as inquiries about firearms instruction."
I wanted to know more about the personal defense aspect of gun ownership, so I had Cliff meet me at a local firing range. He put me through a basic safety course with a .357 magnum revolver and several .9 mm semi automatics. I asked him which he recommends for firt-time gun owners.
"I recommend a revolver for new shooters. It depends on how much time the shooter is willing to put into the specific platform. Semi-autos take a little bit more training and a little bit more time."
Both guns also take a lot of discipline and focus to shoot well.
In Mississippi, you need an enhanced carry permit to take one with you in many places. I asked Cliff what it takes to get a permit.
"You can go to the Dept. of Public Safety website and apply for the standard permit. You can also come to an instructor and go through the enhanced carry permit. That is a permit that allows you to carry in a broader range of places-churches, bars, polling places, parades-a whole longer list."
Cliff Cargill explains pistols
Cliff also told me that a common mistake people make when buying a gun, is to shoot it a few times and lock it away. He said you need to spend time with your weapon and get to know it's functions and malfunctions so you'll know how to correct them if you're in a situation where the bad guy might be coming your way with his own gun.
He put me through a safety course and practice rounds with the pistols and an AK-47 rifle. We fired our way through paper targets and an obstacle course. One thing I took away from the course was that you must have focus, poise and a steady hand to fire any pistol well.
You can reach Cliff at Cliffcargill.com
Newsman Chris fires an AK-47
Newsman Chris goes through an obstacle course