Fifteen years ago, Get A Gun opened its door to customers in the Bakersfield, California area, but on December 20th the business will be closing for good; a victim to the state’s war on legal gun owners and firearm retailers.
In a post on Facebook, the store’s management says that California “has chosen to penalize Firearms dealers with fines for minor issues,” adding that the likelihood of an impending Biden/Harris administration also was a factor in the store’s closure.
Another issue for the gun shop? Not being able to keep up with the record-setting demand for guns and ammo from customers.
“With Remington Shut down and Mossberg being shut down that has cut their rate of production to nothing and we can’t get product because the restrictions placed on them by their state governments,” said Fire arm salesman, Utah Allen.
The store says that they have seen a large increase of first time buyers since the pandemic began back in March and that they have seen an almost 500 to 600 increase in ammunition and firearms sales.
Get A Gun says they saw a similar increase back in 2016 during the election year but not like this. Despite the need their last day will be December 20th.
For the past several days customers have been offering praise for the retailer and condolences on the closing of the business.
While it may seem odd for a gun shop to shut down during a period of record-high gun sales, Get a Gun isn’t the first firearms retailer to do so. Earlier this year New York City’s oldest gun store also locked its doors and turned out the lights after more than a century of doing business in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood.
John Jovino Gun Shop in Little Italy first opened up in 1911 but its owner Charles Hu says he cannot pay rent without customers.
He says he had hoped to keep it open at least one more year, so he could retire after turning 75.
“I completed my mission. I did a good job. No violations. I really feel so sorry I couldn’t make it because you know the first gun shop the last gun shop…110 years. To the end it’s seen 110 years. We established January 1, 1911 because that’s 110 years, I made it,” Hu said.
I know a few other independent owners who’ve also been struggling for the past few months, though no one I know personally has had to shut down. Still, the struggle is real for many retailers who’ve been unable to keep enough inventory on hand to ensure that customers can find common calibers of self-defense ammunition or even popular models of handguns or modern sporting rifles.
As governors around the country announce new restrictions on public gatherings, restaurants, and retail establishments, we could soon see a return to the declaration that “non-essential” businesses must close. In some states, like California and New York, those restrictions will likely include firearms retailers (as we saw in the spring), and it’s likely that if another round of COVID-related closures does come to pass, some of these gun stores simply aren’t going to have the money to re-open when lockdowns are lifted.
Get A Gun shutting down in Bakersfield may just be a taste of what’s to come, in other words. The Great Gun Run of 2020 continues for the moment, but if anti-gun governors have anything to do about it, would-be gun buyers will soon face challenges even bigger than their local store not having 9mm or .223 in stock. They may find their favorite local store has been forced to close for good.