In 2020, when social instability was sparked by political tensions and the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, Coloradans purchased firearms in historic numbers Ipass Loans.
According to Colorado Bureau of Investigation transaction figures, the trend continued into 2021 with just a tiny decrease in momentum.
The CBI registered 487,097 firearm purchases through 2020, above the 335,370 sales recorded in 2019.
Although the agency has not yet published statistics for December 2021, 401,903 weapon sales happened in November.
While some La Plata County gun businesses prospered in 2021, others battled to maintain adequate stock levels due to supply chain concerns that impacted certain stores more than others.
Agnus Geiger, the founder of Gunfighter Organization LLC, oversees four businesses.
A full-service retail establishment, Colorado Gunfighter, sells weapons, ammo, and clothing.
Then there’s Gunfighter Development Group, which provides professional instruction; Tac-Con, which develops assisted reset rifle triggers; and Gunfighter Cartridge Co., which manufactures ammunition and componentry.
Geiger relocated to a more extensive facility in Durango approximately 18 months ago, increasing his store floor area. The gun store is doing well so well that he is considering expanding into nine other states.
Geiger, a former United States Army staff sergeant, ascribed the increase in gun purchases to political turmoil and fear of violence.
“Also’s unfortunate that violence fuels the weapons market, but it fuels our training firm,” he said. “As a result, an increasing number of individuals are being trained.
“I watch all the riots and all the other things that occurred last year when they were burning down cities, and people are purchasing more and more firearms,” he said.
Geiger claimed his firearm-training simulator is “booking up like crazy despite the website’s lack of advertising.”
“It is well within people’s rights to defend themselves, which I applaud, and they are equipping themselves appropriately,” he added. “On the plus side, they are also educating themselves.”
Geiger is not alone in his frustration with supply chain challenges in the firearms and ammunition industry.
Rocky Mountain Pawn and Gun owner Bruce Dominey claimed supply chain issues and the COVID-19 outbreak are pushing him out of business.
“It’s destroying us,” he said. “After 30 years, we’re closing our doors.”
Dominey said that his pawn store sold a substantial amount of firearms in 2021 at least until he ran out of weapons to sell.
“The supply channels are all messed up, and as a result, we can’t acquire any,” he said. “We are unable to get goods. I am unable to order firearms and ammunition to replenish my inventory.”
A Durango Goods for the Woods staffer described gun supply as “poor,” however, rifles and ammunition are “coming in” again this January.
Rocky Mountain Pawn and Gun’s lending business also suffered a setback. Dominey said that before COVID-19 lockdowns, loans would be made and then returned with interest at the end of the month.
However, when more people stayed at home, particularly since government cheques were sent to residents while businesses were closed, they cut down on spending, he said.
After 30 years in Durango, Dominey said he is open to new opportunities and plans to go to Texas.
“We’re going to shut her down,” he said.
According to Powder Valley Inc., a distributor of guns powder, primers, and accessories, only four firms Winchester, Remington, Federal, and CCI make primers for civilian, law enforcement, and military use in the United States.
“People being ill, skipping work to care for their children, and self-quarantining from factory employees to delivery drivers, and across the supply chain contributed to a pause in production this spring,” Powder Valley said in October its corporate blog.
Geiger utilizes a series of Mark 7 bullet reloading machines to feed bullets into storage bins. However, the Mark 7’s are gathering dust due to supply chain bottlenecks.
“These are Mark 7 machines; they can fire 3,500 rounds per hour,” Geiger said. “When they’re running, it’s incredible because they’re earning money, but they’re simply sitting here now.”