Maine Gun Store Owners Say Sales Spiked After Mass Shooting


Maine gun store owners have claimed sales have spiked following the deadly mass shootings at a bowling alley and restaurant in the state.

Army reservist Robert Card, 40, allegedly opened fire at the Lewiston locations, killing 18 people and leaving 13 more injured on Wednesday before a manhunt was launched to find him. He was later found dead from a suspected self-inflicted gunshot wound, Maine Gov. Janet Mills confirmed.

But gun sales spiked for at least one gun store owner in Lewiston, who said his business was filled with customers days after the mass shooting.

“We were swamped yesterday,” Navy veteran Ryan Gagnon, a co-owner of 3 Cousins Firearms in Lewiston told Fox News Digital. “Our sales were up, I would say, over 200 percent compared to a typical Friday.”

Gagnon told the network that he and the other owners did not plan to open the store due to shelter-in-place orders, but decided to go ahead after they received many messages on Facebook. “It was all self-defense stuff,” Gagnon said.

Tony Lewis, who owns T and K Tactical in Augusta, around 30 miles from Lewiston, told the Portland Press Herald that he made more sales “than I did all last month.”

“People are scared,” he said during the manhunt. “Law enforcement’s pretty focused on finding this person, so if [civilians] call for assistance, they’re probably not going to get it right away. So they want to make sure they can protect themselves.”

Newsweek has contacted 3 Cousins Firearms and T and K Tactical for comment via Facebook and email respectively.

Pew Research statistics from 2022 seen by Fox News Digital show that 47 percent of Maine residents are registered gun owners.

According to a November 2022 Gallup poll, 45 percent of U.S. households owned one or more firearms in 2022. The number has hovered between 37 percent and 47 percent between 1972 and 2022.

Maine has had a relatively low number of firearm fatalities compared to other states with limited gun control legislation and recorded 154 and 178 gun-related deaths in 2020 and 2021 respectively. In 2020 there were 19 recorded homicide deaths and 17 in 2021.

Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, an independent organization that works to reduce gun violence in the U.S., listed Maine as one of nine states that “lacks [the] most basic laws” and ranks it as 25th in the country “for gun law strength.”

“Maine is also a permitless carry state, though it continues to have low gun violence relative to its weaker firearm laws, likely in part because it is protected by the strong laws of other states in the region,” Everytown said.

State gun legislation, including its Yellow Flag law that aims to reduce mass shootings in Maine, and lawmakers have come under renewed scrutiny following the attacks in Lewiston.

Republican Sen. Susan Collins previously defended her and Maine’s position on gun control legislation. In 2013, Collins voted against two Senate amendments that aimed to prohibit the sale of assault weapons and limit firearm magazine capacity.

However, she did vote in favor of the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, the first piece of federal firearms legislation in 30 years.

“Maine’s law has robust due process provision that allows a court, following an assessment by a medical professional, to determine if a person should temporarily lose possession of firearms because they pose a serious threat to themselves of others,” she said.

Uncommon Knowledge

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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