By Sara Forhetz
Published: Oct. 27, 2020 at 5:07 PM CDT
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3)
With the election looming, ’tis the season for a big increase in gun sales.
But this year, tactical gear is also flying off store shelves. And store owners say there are some major differences on why people are flocking to gun stores right now, compared to election years past.
“There’s definitely a feeling across the country that’s just too much uncertainty with all these riots going on, this looting going on,” said Ryan Burks. We met him at Anchor Tactical Supply in Springfield. He was never a regular at such a store, until recently.
“I’ve literally only started doing this in the last four months.”
Why? The unrest and the unknown.
“Being prepared for what’s to come… which I think a lot of us do feel something to come that will be significant. I believe we have the right to protect ourselves and be prepared for it, so there’s more than just me that I have to look out for, too,” he said.
Burks is certainly not the only one buying up gear because of that sense of uneasiness.
“It doesn’t matter who gets elected, people feel like they are going to have to protect themselves outside of law enforcement,” said Anchor Tactical Supply owner Sam Hartley. He says gear and guns are going fast. It’s good news for him at the cash register, but hard to see as a Marine.
“It’s heartbreaking to watch actually. It’s a country that I fought for and was willing to die for, but unfortunately, to see our own country battling each other as opposed to coming together and united like we were right after 9-11– that’s the country that I grew up in and that I know,” Hartley said.
He’s hopeful for calm regardless of next Tuesday’s results, but ready for the storm nonetheless.
“Don’t get me wrong, we love the uptick in business, but we don’t like to see it this way. Nobody likes to see our country in unrest. We don’t want to see our country fail from within,” Hartley said.
Hartley says he has had some calls from certain three letter agencies– as he called them– saying to be prepared for possible unrest even in cities the size of Springfield. He would not elaborate on this, but says many gun stores are prepared, just in case.
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