Business as usual

Guns are shown in a case at Sam's Shooters Emporium.

As the nationwide coronavirus pandemic continues, store shelves have been stripped bare – but it’s not just toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

Lake Havasu City gun stores have seen an influx of customers this week, and according to store owners, the majority of those customers are first-time buyers.

“Sales have been hectic this week,” said Against All Enemies Armory owner Patrick Baughman on Thursday. “I’d say 75% to 80% of customers this week have been first-time buyers. With what’s going on in the political spectrum, and people feeding off of concerns about the coronavirus, panic-buying is already happening.”

According to Baughman, inventories of ammunition in Havasu have run low, and shelves have been emptied as gun stores see growing popularity during the panic.

“Background checks are usually a same-day process,” Baughman said. “Normally you come in, buy a gun, fill out the paperwork, wait and walk out with a gun. Now, background checks are taking a minimum of two or three days, unless they have concealed-carry weapon permits.”

Baughman says the number of first-time buyers in his store has been unusual and concerning for him.

“It feels irregular,” Baughman said. “I’d encourage people to back up their new purchases with qualified training. Their safety is important to us, and we’d like to see our sales matched with weapons training and more concealed-carry permits.”

At London Bridge Firearms, employees are having trouble keeping up with the sudden increase in demand.

“We’ve seen a 220% increase in business over the past week,” said manager Scott Mitchell. “People are having underlying suspicions and doubts about the government’s response. People tell me that they don’t know what’s going to happen.”

According to Mitchell, about half of the customers at London Bridge Firearms this week have been first-time buyers.

“It’s a little frustrating, and a little disconcerting, having so many people buying a gun for the first time,” Mitchell said.

In response to the demand, Mitchell says London Bridge Firearms will offer free weapons training courses this Saturday at SARA Park shooting range for all London Bridge Firearms customers.

And with the passage of a $2 trillion stimulus package expected to finalized by the House of Representatives today, citizens could receive about $1,200 each in emergency tax refunds, Apex Firearms weapon safety instructor Jim Liesen expects a growing surge in new gun ownership.

“I expect a flurry of gun purchases as soon as the government gives away $1,200 checks,” Liesen said. “I’ve had several discussions that have started with, ‘How many guns and/or ammunition can I get if my budget is, say, $1,200 out the door.”

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(8) comments

only in havasu

The California Governor is trying to close gun stores as non-essential services. It’s causing some very irritated people. Hopefully Gun stores are practicing distancing with customers wherever possible.

8957

I think it is a fairly normal, predictable reaction to the stressful situation we all find ourselves in. I may or may not be able to protect my family and myself from a virus, but I can arm myself and take terminal action against any SOB that tries to take my hand sanitizer and toilet paper. Some people are afraid this could all turn into a "Lord of the Flies" situation, and they want to be able to defend themselves. You can agree or disagree, but it does not make them crazy. I remember going to a State Fair back in my home state in the 60s where backyard bomb shelters were on display. They were never needed, but I imagine many of those contained guns just in case your neighbors came pounding on the door after you had locked down. We all want to be able to protect what we have.

1502

What are you going to do with another gun. Another old man with 20 guns is all we need. May he should stop smoking and drinking.

HwyRovr

“By gum I’se gonna by me a gun, a great big gun and then I’m agonna shoots any of them germs that tries to come on my land! Us ‘Merican’s ain’t agonna ‘low them liberal foreigner germs to come here!”

VA172

Got to agree with you on this one. Why the hell are we having gun sales up during this crisis. Goes right along with buying up 6-9 months of toilet paper.

deaton

VA172, Got to disagree with you on this one. These are Americans exercising their 2nd. Amendment rights in a free society! I just hope their is no "price gouging" occurring But thanks for your input. [thumbup][beam] Deaton

Dawn King

I agree, it’s kinda scary when even the gun dealers are expressing concern about all the gun sales to people that never owned (and probably never handled) a gun before! Guess they’re protecting their toilet paper and top ramen.

Comment deleted.
VA172

I understand the 2nd amendment right, My question is why did this COVID-19 increase guns sales.

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