COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – Business isn’t down everywhere in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
One sector of the economy is seeing a spike in sales.
Area gun shops such as Gary’s Pawn and Gun are seeing an increase in customers through the door.
“We’re busy all the time, but business is probably up maybe 30 or 40% more than we normally have,” said Gary Dedeaux, owner of Gary’s Pawn and Gun.
Dedeaux said the increase in business is tied to the COVID-19 outbreak hitting the Magnolia State.
He believes people are buying firearms for their personal protection as they look to deal with the current global pandemic.
“This coronavirus seems to be scaring more people,” Dedeaux explained. “It feels like more people are concerned for their safety, so our handgun sales have gone up, and we’ve had more new buyers than we’ve ever seen, people that never owned a firearm before.”
Dedeaux has more than 40 years of experience with selling firearms and said it’s common to see people stock up on weapons and ammunition during times of uncertainty.
“I think some of it is just like, they just want to have it,” the owner expressed. “They want to have extra ammunition just in case, I don’t totally understand it, but we’re in business and we are just moving forward.”
With the new influx of customers, it’s now causing the pawn shop to call in extra and larger orders to help keep up with the demand.
“We didn’t see this coming,” said Dedeaux. “We weren’t where we’d like to be at in inventory, but being in business as long as we’ve been in business we’ve made a lot of good relationships with manufacturers, and they’re taking care of us as best as they can.”
Even with the rush of customers, Dedeaux said they’re still practicing and taking precautionary measures by only allowing 15 customers inside the shop at one time.