GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Over the last two weeks, Dad’s Super Pawn in Gulfport has seen a dramatic increase in gun sales, which are up nearly 200 percent compared to a normal March.
“It’s been out of the ordinary busy," shop owner Kevin Riley told WLOX. "This whole thing has brought on a whole new phase of toilet paper and firearms.”
With the outbreak of COVID-19, Riley has an educated guess as to why there’s an uptick.
“I think everybody is kind of concerned with going on a 24-hour lockdown or a country-wide lockdown," Riley said. "I can see a lot of their concerns.”
For the safety of customers and staff, Dad’s Super Pawn are following the rules of the CDC by not allowing more than 10 people in the shop and giving out hand sanitizer before entering. Along with guns, ammo sales have gone up just as much.
“It’s just like toilet paper right now, everybody wants that ammo," Riley said. "They want nine millimeter, they want 556223 and different calibers. We still have all that available.”
While Riley and his staff continue to earn a paycheck, he understands that others are not as fortunate. The shop have devised a short-term solution for those struggling financially.
“We’ve also brought in about two hundred thousand dollars of extra money just to loan out to help out anybody who is out of work," Riley told WLOX.
"We need to know they’re out of work and where they’ve been working and we’re doing special deals for all those customers. Anything we can do to make our community better and make it grow, we’re here to do our best.”
Dad’s Super Pawn is open and running on their normal hours of Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. as well as Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.