Kauaʻi gun shop sees “sizeable uptick” in sales

  • Sabrina Bodon/The Garden Island

    JGB Arms is one of the few shops open in Harbor Mall.

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 sbodon@thegardenisland.com.

  1. randy kansas March 31, 2020 6:25 am Reply

    if the virus turmoil keeps up, folks will be hunting more and we will have less wild hogs, goats, chickens and wild cats…..some good may come of this !

    meeow kitty kitty!

  2. Michael Mann March 31, 2020 11:10 am Reply

    How wonderful. Just gives me a warm feeling of Aloha inside.

  3. jake March 31, 2020 12:16 pm Reply

    If you’re not a grocey store, pharmacy, or gas station, what the hell are you doing open for business? Oh, yeah, I forgot…we might have to start killing each other for food, toilet paper, or just plain fun.

    1. manongindashadow0711 March 31, 2020 3:55 pm Reply

      Jake, “there are many responsible gun owners here on the island.” With you’re thinking, ” you should never own or handle a fire arm!”

      1. jake March 31, 2020 10:47 pm Reply

        Yes…they’re called cops.

      2. Michael Mann April 1, 2020 12:31 am Reply

        And is it your argument that the people running out to buy new firearms are these “many responsible gun owners?” Based on what, exactly?

        I have no problems with people who own a firearm to hunt to put food on the table. I have a serious problem with people who fetishize guns to the point that they own mini arsenals and claim to need it for “protection.”

        This is fear and panic buying, and that alone should disqualify someone from purchasing a weapon.

  4. Richard March 31, 2020 1:29 pm Reply

    Boring stay home, more fun blowing away chickens!

  5. kimo March 31, 2020 6:20 pm Reply

    I have yet to see anyone walk into or out of a gun shop who wasn’t a frightened little girl deep down inside. Your assault rifle, shotgun, pistol, or whatever isn’t going to stop a deadly virus, and more than likely it’s already found you on the door handle of that gun shop or the box of .357 rounds you just picked up. You can’t eat bullets, most of you are the most unskilled hunters in the westerm hemisphere, and unless you’re planning to kill your neighbors for their food you’re wasting your money.

    1. LMat April 1, 2020 8:27 am Reply

      I gotta agree with Kimo… except for the implied insult at using “little girl” to describe the fools rushing in to buy guns. C’mon, lots of girls have more cojones AND intelligence than the idiots who think more guns and ammo will protect them from a virus. Guys, this isn’t the Walking Dead (as much as some of you apparently want it to be)…

  6. Michael Mann April 1, 2020 12:28 pm Reply

    Aloha begins with a muzzle flash, apparently.

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