Gun shop owner: Firearm sales increase ‘exponentially’ after a mass shooting
Some gun shop owners say that when a mass shooting happens in the United States – like the one that happened FedEx facility in Indianapolis on Friday – they see an increase in gun sales.
A Toms River shop owner tells News 12 New Jersey that he is seeing this trend again.
“The phone has been ringing all day,” says Joe Hawk, owner of Guns and Roses gun shop on Route 37 in Toms River.
Hawk says that people have been calling asking about the type of weapons the 19-year-old suspect in the Indianapolis shooting used.
“People want to know, ‘Do you know what rifle that was that was used?’ and then they want that type of rifle because they think it’ll be targeted,” Hawk says.
The customers are afraid that the gun will be banned by gun reform lawmakers.
“It’s a terrible thing to say, whenever there is a mass shooting or a rumor, this business increases exponentially,” Hawk says.
Hawk says whether it was this case at the FedEx facility, or the shootings recently in Georgia or Colorado, people want to get their hands on those weapons before they're gone.
These latest shootings come as Gov. Phil Murphy unveiled a new proposal for gun safety legislation. Under the proposal, people would have to be 21 years old to purchase a shotgun or rifle. Another change would be to require a firearm safety course, while another mandates safe storage.
“We still need national legislation on things like universal background checks,” Murphy said.
When it comes to age restriction, Hawk says that he feels it would unfairly impact returning members of the military.
“I don’t know how you can say that to someone who has fought for this country, they come back and you say, 'You can’t buy a shotgun or rifle or what have you,'” says Hawk.
He says that he believes these mass shootings are committed by those who are mentally ill, and says that he has done his part to refuse a sale to anyone he deems mentally unstable
Hawk also says that business has been on the rise ever since the pandemic started. He says sales are up 1,000% and he doesn't see them dropping off.