Gun store sees boom in business after deadly week

Gun store sees boom in business after deadly week »Play Video
Guns lined up at the Northwest Armory gun store in Portland.

PORTLAND, Ore. – In the wake of two deadly shootings at an elementary school in Connecticut and a mall here in Oregon, many families are turning to guns for protection.

At one of Oregon’s largest gun sellers the owner told us that business has been booming.

Karl Durkheimer, the owner of Northwest Armory in Southeast Portland, said that in 20 years of business, this week has been his busiest week in sales, with Saturday being the single busiest day, and it’s not holiday shopping bringing in the customers.

Durkheimer said smaller handguns that can be concealed have been the biggest sellers.

About 40 percent of households in Oregon have guns in them, although Durkheimer said he’s seeing many first-time gun owners in his shop.

He said almost all of them are coming in because they want to do something to feel safe again after this week’s news.

“They are here because they want to be able to take care of themselves and their families,” Durkheimer said. “The tragedies of this past week have really scared people. Now the people asking about concealed carry has escalated greatly.”

There wasn’t a single parking spot open in the lot when a KATU reporter stopped by on Saturday afternoon and there were more than 40 people packed into the crowded store.

During our visit, Durkheimer had to place another order to stock up before Monday.

Some customers also told us they are choosing to buy a gun now because they anticipate there may be a change in gun laws as people demand tougher gun laws.

Some of those calls have come from prominent figures, including New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

“As the mayor has said so many times before, we need a national gun control police,” he said. “We don’t have it. Quite frankly I’m pessimistic because we haven’t seen any meaningful activity.”

Mark Kelly, the husband of Gabrielle Giffords, posted a statement on Facebook saying the children of Sandy Hook Elementary deserve a meaningful discussion on gun laws and reform, adding “we can no longer wait.”

Read more: Could mass killing be a gun control tipping point?