Why some sporting good stores are open during the stay at home order

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — As the coronavirus continues to spread, many businesses are closing down, but some sporting good stores continue to be open.

Ozarks First received several calls from viewers asking why are people still able to walk into stores that sell guns.

The reason is they sell certain items like water, camping gear, generators, and guns.

This is why gun stores are not a part of the “essential businesses list,” they are already exempted under state law, even during an emergency such as this COVID-19 pandemic.

“It started getting really busy last Monday so for about a week and a half now it’s been extremely busy,” said Zach Terhark, owner of Eagle Armory.

Ozarks First’s Frances Lin asked, “is this is in response to the pandemic?”

Terhark responded, “yeah I believe it’s a direct response to it.”

“People are kind of worried about where all this is headed, and when people start getting told that they need to be under quarantine, they don’t know what might happen after that, and so i think a lot of people that didn’t little worry about owning a gun before, kind of thinking that they might want to own one now,” Terhark said.

“Just, with all the stuff going on around, I was just like, yeah, now’s a good time to get a truck gun,” said Kirk Stone, a customer.

“We consider ourselves an essential business, and it’s important to us to be able to provide our products to the public and to first responders and also protect the rights of our customers and be able to come and get a new gun and be able to buy ammunition for their current guns,” Terhark said.

He also said he’s seen more first-time gun owners than usual, “as far as just trying to get practical stuff, we sold a lot of shotguns, a lot of concealed carry handguns, we sold some ar-15s, but people are just concerned about being able to protect themselves in their household.”

And ammunition has also been selling out fast at Eagle Armory.

“All the shipments are delayed from all of our suppliers, they’re all backed up from a large number of orders,” Terhark explained, “we’re just living in unprecedented times, people see things that are happening that never happened before, they think about what can they do to protect their family.”

Eagle armory is also practicing social distancing.

The background check stations are six-feet apart, and customers are asked to stay six feet apart from employees.

The armory is also sanitizing surfaces.

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