Redmond gun dealer sees sales surge

Ammo supplies dwindle; sales to women spike

Redmond gun dealer sees spike in sales

REDMOND, Ore. - At J.W. Koch's Redmond gun shop, business is booming.

"There's times when there's 15 people in here," Koch said this week.  "And we're tied up with the state because we're doing background checks, and sometimes we've been two and a half hours."

Gun and ammunition sales are up nationwide.

Recent talk of possible new gun laws out of Washington are affecting supply and demand everywhere -- and Central Oregon is no different

Also, the talk of shortages is fueling more shortages.

"It's kind of a feeding frenzy -- they're bringing it on themselves really, because instead of buying one box, they're buying 10. Instead of buying 10, they're buying 100," Koch explained.

Koch said concealed weapons have exploded in popularity. He used to carry lots of them -- now he's lucky to even have one.

"We can't order nothing. They're not even taking back orders," Koch said.

The most popular guns?

"Concealed weapons -- .380 semi-automatics and .38 Special snub nose," says Koch.

And ammo supplies are even tighter.

Koch said it's hard to find anywhere --you can't get it on the internet, and shops are running low everywhere.

Guntraders doesn't normally carry ammunition. Koch said the primary focus of his shop has been collectible and antique weapons -- not a stocking shop.

But for the last two months, customers have been looking for newer guns and ammunition.

And Koch is trying to keep up with the demand.

"We have been selling ammunition and trying to get it for the people, but we were down to where we didn't even have a .22 shell, not one shell, two weeks ago," Koch said.

He recently stocked up on boxes and boxes of ammunition, and Koch expects it will go fast.

And there's another new trend Koch says he's never seen in more than 30 years in the gun business.

"Three, four years ago, I  think we'd sell one (gun) out of 50 to a woman. Now, on the concealed weapons I would say it's probably three out of five," he said.  "It's more than the men."

And he thinks many Americans no longer consider gun ownership a bad thing.

"We have more women coming in, in a month, than we used to have in a year or two," Koch said. "They used to sit out in the cars. Now they come in and bring the kids."

"Gun, firearms aren't a bad thing anymore," he added. "Not like they were in the late '90s."

And it's not just women. Koch said many of his customers are first-time buyers, a phenomena he's not used to.

And while Koch said he's grateful for more business,  he doesn't think this trend will last.

"It's going to come back to where I think business is very slow," he said.

It's a seller's market now -- but wait awhile, he said, and all that frenzy may just die down.

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