Dori: Local gun stores ‘busy as all get out’ as firearm debates rage nationwide
With barely two weeks to go before Washington state enacts tougher gun laws, at least one local firearms retailer tells The Dori Monson Show that stores like hers are seeing “a buying rush.”
Stephanie Kerns, co-owner of West Coast Armory North (and KIRO Newsradio advertising sponsor), told Dori’s Thursday listeners that her Everett business is “busy as all get out” as the debate over gun control and firearms violence grows across the country.
Kerns and other retailers attribute some of the increased interest in this state to a new law that will go into effect July 1.
The law – approved by state lawmakers before last month’s Uvalde, TX school shooting rampage – prohibits the manufacture, distribution, and sale of firearm magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
“We knew that there was going to be an uptick in gun sales in June because of the high-capacity ban,” Kerns said. “After July 1, we – in the state of Washington as a gun store – cannot sell anything and you can’t buy anything over 10 rounds.
“That doesn’t mean you can’t continue to have the guns and the magazines that you already have,” she added.
“Obviously, we have background checks to do,” Kerns continued. “Now that it’s getting down to the wire, we are seeing a huge run … Then you put into the mix all the talk and legislation about gun control, and that instigates a bit of a buying rush.”
Even before state lawmakers approved the latest gun legislation, Kerns said, “we in the state of Washington have some of the strictest gun laws already in the nation.”
In 2019, the state approved “safe storage laws” requiring all guns to be locked up when not in use to prevent theft or potentially dangerous access. Years ago, the state also raised the age for purchase of high-capacity magazines including controversial AR-15s, like the one used by the Uvalde shooter, from 18 to 21 years.
Additionally, in 2016, Washington state passed the Extreme Risk Protection Order – its version of the so-called “red flag law” making it the fourth in the country to do so. Such gun control measures police, family members, coworkers and, in some cases, others to petition a state court to remove firearms from someone they may be dangerous to themselves or others.
“We already have all of those, plus background checks in the state of Washington,” Kern explained.
Meanwhile, she told Dori, there are shortages coming from distributors and manufacturers across the country, so securing legal firearms products is increasingly difficult.
Add to that, Kern said, the human nature effect: “if something is going to be taken away, we want it even more.”
Listen to Dori’s entire interview with Everett gun shop co-owner about brisk firearms sales
Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.
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