LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Today's executive action on gun control taken by President Joe Biden has a trickle down effect on gun owners and retails across the country.
13 Action News spoke with Michael Goyak, the manager of Ventura Munitions, about the effect he thinks it may have on his store and the local gun community.
"When COVID hit, we went from doing our normal amount of business, which was pretty elevated. But then, when the whole COVID lockdown was looming, we did pretty much three times the amount of business every day for about a month and a half straight. A lot of people were scared that people were going to be going door to door, they wanted something to protect themselves. They feared that robberies would go up and they looked back and said, 'man, I don’t have anything in my house to defend myself with, so we had a huge amount of first time gun owners," said Goyak, describing the initial wave of gun purchases at the start of the pandemic.
At Ventura Munitions on Valley View Boulevard and Russell Road, empty store shelves have been the norm for over a year now, ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"A lot of handguns, small handguns, home defense guns, shotguns, AR-15‘s. I mean, pretty much across the board at this point," said Goyak.
Goyak says sales have been up ever since, spiking a second time after Joe Biden won the White House.
"When Biden did win, a lot of people that would’ve bought more before did come in. So, we had a second spike after the election, which we're kind of still see kinda the tremors of," said Goyak.
Now, following the news of President Biden's executive action regulating stabilizing braces and banning so-called "ghost guns," Goyak is bracing for a third, but significantly smaller spike in sales.
"We do sell them [ghost guns]. We don’t sell a whole ton. It’s not a market we’ve ever really focused on heavy. We are going to be out by the end of the day, any of them that we had, same thing with the stabilizing braces. We’ve got probably 180 of the most popular ones left. I will probably not be able to buy anymore because all the distributors are just completely wiped out at this point," said Goyak.
Bigger picture, Goyak admits gun stores owners and enthusiasts are watching Washington D.C. closely, fearing a bigger crackdown on firearms and ammunition from the Biden administration.
"Really, people have taken a solid interest in understanding laws, understanding firearms, understanding gun safety. And it’s a pretty cool opportunity to see that. Everybody in this store right now, this is a shooting sport and it’s used for defense. That’s what they’re here for and we’re, kind of, all on pins and needles hoping that they don’t just continue to crack down and crack down and crack down," said Goyak.
13 Action News reached out to Battle Born Progress, a Nevada nonprofit that applauded President Biden's executive action today.
Annette Magnus, the Executive Director of Battle Born Progress, sent a statement that reads, "Gun violence is an epidemic in our country and there is no better example of that than the significant increase in gun and ammo sales during the COVID19 pandemic. At the start of the pandemic we saw record gun sales while gun stores remained open, despite lockdowns in virtually every American city. Nevada was not an exception, with many stores running out of the guns they were trying to sell. At the end of 2020, Nevada saw a 57%
increase in gun sales compared to 2019. This is an alarming increase that shows the need for proper background checks to protect communities from guns falling into the wrong hands. We were pleased to see the United States House of Representatives pass two important background check measures that will close loopholes that have led to shootings in Charleston and across the Country. The Senate should follow President Joe Biden’s recommendations today and pass these bills as well. We need action at the federal level and state level to address this epidemic. Nevada is doing its part by continuing to work on common-sense gun policies, such as banning ghost guns and empowering businesses to disallow firearms on their premises in Assembly Bill 286 sponsored by Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui. Our commitment to ending the gun violence epidemic remains a focus as we navigate the consistent mass shootings and acts of community violence we are witnessing nearly every day.”