Supply chain issues mixed with demand rough on gun stores

(AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

Gun sales skyrocketed during 2020. They were so high that gun stores had a rough time trying to keep up with demand. People were worried about the pandemic, civil unrest, and a potential downturn in the economy to the point that folks rushed to their local dealers.

Demand hasn’t really gone down all that much as things have kind of eased up a bit since 2020, either. That’s rough enough on gun stores, but it seems that supply chain issues have created new problems for them.

Some La Plata County gun stores found success in 2021, but others struggled to keep their stock up to par, in part because of supply chain issues that hit some stores harder than others.

Bruce Dominey, owner of Rocky Mountain Pawn and Gun, said supply chain problems and the COVID-19 pandemic are driving him out of business.

“It’s killing us,” he said. “After 30 years, we’re going out of business.”

Dominey said his pawn shop sold plenty of guns in 2021 – at least until he ran out of guns to sell.

“The supply chains are all screwed up so we can’t get any,” he said. “We can’t get any merchandise. I can’t order guns and ammo to restock my shelves.”

An employee at Durango Goods for the Woods said gun supplies were “terrible,” although firearms and ammo are “rolling in” again this January.

Rocky Mountain Pawn and Gun also took a hit in its loans business. Dominey said before lockdowns with the arrival of COVID-19, loans would go out and then return with interest at the end of the month.

But as more people stopped leaving their homes, especially when government checks were being delivered to people while businesses were shuttered, they stopped spending as much, he said.

After 30 years of doing business in Durango, Dominey said he’s open to options for new work and is planning on moving back to Texas.

“We’re closing her down,” he said.

That’s not good by any stretch of the imagination.

On one hand, high demand should equate to more and more sales. However, with supply chain issues being what they are, they can’t get guns to meet that demand. Demand doesn’t help a store unless they can meet it, so they’re going out of business.

This is troubling, to say the least.

I’ve long argued that if you wanted to thwart our right to keep and bear arms without actually repealing the Second Amendment, one approach would simply be to make it impossible to buy guns. Running manufacturers out of business, for example.

However, if stores can’t remain open because of supply chain issues, that’ll do the trick just fine.

And since most of these issues seem to stem from China–a nation that’s strangely focused on disarming Americans–the more paranoid parts of my brain are tingling.

Of course, it’s far more likely that stores in this kind of a situation are more collateral damage than anything else.

Either way, it doesn’t help these gun stores out in the least, and that’s truly terrible news for them and their customers.