Meet The Michigan Gun Store Owner Who Opened During the Pandemic

Not re-open, mind you. Though Gov. Gretchen Whitmer didn’t get around to including gun stores in the list of “essential businesses” that were allowed to remain open until mid-April, which may not be that shocking considered some of the bone-headed decisions she’s made over the past couple of months. Still, by April 11 Whitmer had, however reluctantly, restored the ability of gun stores in the state to open for business, which was great news for Michigan resident Lisa Mayo.

An hour after Whitmer declared her original state of emergency, Michigan resident Lisa Mayo decided to pull the trigger on a plan she’d been working on for months: opening up her own brick-and-mortar gun store after several years as an FFL primarily working gun shows. Mayo had been planning on opening up later this fall, but once the emergency order was in effect, she moved quickly to sign a lease, called the ATF to start the necessary paperwork, and in late April, a couple of weeks after Whitmer’s modified order that included gun stores in the list of “essential businesses,” she was able to open the doors to Flashpoint Firearms in the Grand Rapids suburb of Comstock Park.

Lisa Mayo joins me on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co to talk about the whirlwind of activity that’s taken place since she signed her lease back in March. After a frenzied rush to open, she’s seen a surge in demand that’s fueled record-high gun sales over the past couple of months. And like other gun store owners, she says the vast majority of her customers to date have been first-time gun buyers.

When I asked Mayo why these folks are buying guns, she replied that it was fear. Fears that things will get worse, instead of better. Fears that crime will rise if people become desperate. Ultimately, fear of an uncertain future is what’s driving sales, but it’s not uncertainty about a new gun control law or even who the next president will be (though that may drive more sales as we get closer to the election). It’s a much more fundamental and non-partisan fear; how much more will our lives change? As for who these first-time gun buyers are, Mayo says she hasn’t seen any particular demographic stand out. Instead, she says it’s really been a cross-section of the local community who’ve walked away from her store as happy customers.

For more of my conversation with Lisa Mayo, check out the video window above, and stick around for the story of an Illinois man on probation for illegal gun possession who managed to avoid more than a decade behind bars thanks to a sweetheart of a plea deal, a Georgia man who came to the defense of his elderly neighbor who was being beaten inside his home, and a good deed that saved the life of a very good boy in Virginia.

One programming note as well. I had a brief conversation today with Mike Lynn, Jr., one of the armed escorts who walked Rep. Sarah Anthony into her office at the state capitol earlier this week. Originally that interview was going to run on today’s program, but I really felt like I was crunched for time and had to end the interview much sooner than I would have liked. Mike’s agreed to speak with me again on Monday, and I’m looking forward to a great conversation to share on the next Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co.

Dec 02, 2021 7:30 PM ET