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Gun sales up before coronavirus stay-at-home order was enacted

(AP)

A couple weeks ago, even before the official stay-at-home order from the governor, Fall City Firearms was already seeing an uptick in gun sales. It had the second busiest day since opening in 1989.

The customers included a lot of first-time gun buyers, said Lee Stallman, owner of Fall City Firearms, on KIRO Radio’s Tom & Curley Show. He said customers were buying firearms that they could take out of the store that day, not the guns with a mandatory wait period.

“We totally sold out of our short barreled shotguns, all brands, all price ranges,” Stallman said. ” … We even sold out of our duck hunting shotguns.”

When someone buys a gun, Stallman said the store does give instruction and makes sure they’re fully aware that these are firearms and can be dangerous. He said they suggest places where customers can take classes or training nearby, and they hand out safety pamphlets.

“You try to educate them as best you can, but definitely a lot of first-time buyers” he said.

While these are first-time buyers, Stallman recognized that every gun owner is a first-time buyer at some point. He doesn’t really feel a sense of responsibility as this is part of his business, and his team does everything they can to make sure the customer is informed.

“I like to see people get into the shooting sports, it’s a fun recreation,” Stallman said. “I mean, if there’s somebody that’s a shady character, we have the right to say no, we’re not going to sell you a gun.”

The profiles of the customers at Fall City Firearms were spread all across the board, all ages, all genders, but the “common thread,” as Stallman called it, was that most had never owned a firearm who thought now, during the coronavirus outbreak, was the right time to get one.

“A lot of people were saying, … you think somebody might do a home invasion or looting homes in the neighborhoods and they said, ‘we just want to have some protection.'”

Fall City Firearms also sells freeze dried food, which Stallman said they also sold out of recently, as well as camping gear, flashlights, candles, and water purifiers, among other equipment.

“First off, our sales are up 175 percent for the first 25 days of March over last year,” he said. ” … It’s just been so busy that obviously a lot of people are thinking, you know that way, that they want to have some protection.”

Tom & Curley asked Stallman what he thought about the vote in the city of Edmonds to not allow citizens to carry guns during the outbreak response.

“Well, clearly, I think it’s unconstitutional, but I don’t live in Edmonds,” he said. “So those voters ought to vote those people out.”

Listen to the Tom and Curley Show weekdays from 3 – 7 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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