Uncertainty Amid Store Closures Brings New Customers to Richmond Gun Shop

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We’ve all seen the jokes online about everyone buying excessive amounts of items like toilet paper and steaks. But, another market that seems to have seen a recent surplus of customers are firearms retailers.

While some sporting goods stores have claimed that fears over COVID-19 have played a large part in this, a few retailers have stated that it’s not as prevalent of an issue.

We spoke with officials from the recently opened Lead & Company in Richmond about the impact that current events has had on their sales. Owner Adam Hatton confirmed that his store has indeed experienced an influx of customers, many of which are new faces.

“We’ve spent a lot of time in the last few days especially with first time firearm purchasers”, Hatton says. “Showing them the in’s and out’s.”

Some might be wondering what the store’s current biggest seller is. The answer to that, according to general manager Jessie Travis, is ammunition.

“I get hundreds of messages a day”, Travis says. “‘Do we have this? Do we have this?’ I gotta tell them [to] step in line.”

Both Hatton and Travis told us that out of all the customers they’ve serviced recently, COVID-19 has not necessarily been a prominent basis as it pertains to the sale of weapons and ammo.

While fears over the coronavirus itself are reportedly not a huge factor for the surge in first time gun buyers at Lead & Comapny, Hatton cited the uncertainty many people currently feel in addition to last minute preparations as motivators for larger crowds going to the gun stores.

No matter what the reason for purchasing a firearm, Hatton and Travis stress the importance of practicing appropriate safety measures when handling a gun.