A number of Americans may believe that their local gun store should be closed because of the coronavirus, but that’s not stopping millions of us from visiting firearms retailers to pick up a new pistol, rifle, or shotgun. Stephen Gutowski of the Washington Free Beacon joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. to discuss the recently released NICS data showing that last month was the best April in history for gun sales, as well as his recent article covering several gun stores that have refused to shut down in the face of local orders telling them to lock their doors.
Travis County, which includes Austin, did not exempt gun stores from its March shutdown order. Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gun Works, has refused to close his doors to customers regardless of the order.
“What we’re saying is that we’re not going to close down at all,” he told the Free Beacon. “I’ve had people call me and threaten to contact the city and the county and let them know that we’re not closing and I said, ‘Fine, feel free to call because we’re not going to close because we are an essential business.’ People need food, they need water, they need medicine, they need medical care, and they also need firearms for personal protection.”
Gutowski correctly points out that these are not normal times for any industry, including firearms manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Most states haven’t closed gun stores, but in April at least five states did close gun stores, and virtually all of the stores that are open are practicing social distancing measures that limit the number of customers. Meanwhile, thanks to the unprecedented run on firearms that began in late February, most stores have seen their inventory wiped out over the past few weeks. Still, despite those challenges, the NSSF says that NICS checks on gun sales and transfers were 69% higher than in April of 2019.
I also had the chance to talk with Gutowski about the tragic death of Officer Michael Mosher in Overland Park, Kansas over the weekend. Mosher was on his way to work when he spotted a hit-and-run accident and followed the driver. When the vehicle eventually pulled over, Mosher approached, but was shot by the driver. The officer succumbed to his injuries a short time later a local hospital.
Mosher leaves behind a wife and daughter, as well as a legacy of support for the community he served and the right to keep and bear arms. His wife Corrine is a firearms instructor, competitive shooter, and a member of the D.C. Project, a pro-Second Amendment organization comprised of women from around the country who travel to our nation’s capitol every year to lobby lawmakers. The Second Amendment community mourns the loss of Michael Mosher and grieves with his family, and if you would like to help support them in their time of need, a memorial fund has been established for those who wish to donate.
Also on today’s show we’ve got the story of a Utah man with five felony convictions in the past four years who’s back in jail just weeks after his release on probation, an Alabama woman who defended herself from an abusive ex, and a Virginia restaurant owner serving up tasty Caribbean treats for frontline healthcare workers while hoping his own business survives the coronavirus shutdown.
Thanks as always for watching, listening, and spreading the word, and please keep the Mosher family in your thoughts and prayers.