LIHU‘E — JGB Arms, which operates in the Harbor Mall, has seen a “sizeable uptick” in firearm sales on the island, said managing member Jason Bryant.
The store sells firearms, ammunition and accessories for hunting and personal defense, Bryant said, as well as outdoor and survival equipment.
He said sales are up some 50%.
“Inquiries to purchase firearms are up 10-fold (folks waiting for a Permit to Acquire to be issued),” he wrote in an email Monday. “Ammo sales have quadrupled and survival equipment sales have doubled.”
This is in line with national trends. Ammo.com, a leading retailer in ammunition sales, reported a 777% increase in revenue. (Ammo.com does not ship to Hawai‘i.) And, the Trump Administration reported yesterday that gun shops are “essential businesses” and should remain open during stay-at-home orders.
Bryant’s store is open six days a week and follows island-wide measures in line with Mayor Derek Kawakami’s curfew. Also, in accordance, with the Mayor’s Emergency Rules No. 5, the store has limited the number of customers inside the store.
“We have decided to remain open and service the community,” Bryant said. “We are firm believes in folks being responsible for the defense of themselves and their families.”
The Kaua‘i Police Department closed down the walk-up Records Section which included services for firearm registration on Mar. 23, so new firearms cannot be registers and no new permits are being issued.
Bryant has been in touch with local authorities to continue services.
“Hawai‘i laws are so stringent that folks wanting a firearms for defense of their person and family must wait two weeks,” Bryant said. “Presently KPD has shut down their firearms registration division, so new firearms can’t be registered and no new permits are being issued.”
As for customers walking through his store’s doors, he’s noticed that many are new potential buyers.
“Most of the customers coming in are new perspective owners attempting to acquire a firearms for the first time,” he said.
Unlike many other stores around the island, Bryant has thankfully not had to furlough or cut hours of his staff.
“They also spend extra time throughout the day and in the evening after we close to disinfect the shop and all surfaces,” he noted.
Sabrina Bodon, public safety and government reporter, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.