Store owner: Gun sales going strong, many first time buyers learning about the Second Amendment

WATERBURY, Vt. — Americans who never owned or fired a gun are learning about the Second Amendment for the first time amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to the owner of Vermont’s largest gun shop.

“People who we’ve never seen before are coming in looking. … People are asking a lot of questions,” Henry Parro, owner of Parro’s Gun Shop & Police Supplies in Waterbury, told True North.

Following an order by President Donald Trump, gun shops are guaranteed to be open for the duration of the outbreak. Guidance issued Saturday by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) categorized gun stores, shooting ranges and weapons manufacturers as “essential” businesses.

Parro said he has instructed his staff to go out of their way to help new customers eager to buy guns in response to the crashing economy and government-mandated lockdowns. Staff members are trained to explain the basics of firearms safety, such as how to load and handle a gun, as well as how to store it properly. Parro hopes to expand gun-training opportunities at his store location.

Wikimedia Commons/todos

SILVER LINING?: While government officials advise Vermonters to seek new skills over the course of the shut-down, many residents have sought out guns as a way to learn something new and protect their households.

He’s also using this opportunity to educate new gun owners on why the Second Amendment is an important freedom.

“I’m trying to plant the seed,” he said. “… I’m trying to educate these first-time owners to get them to understand how important the Second Amendment is.”

Due to the increased interest in guns, along with confusion over what businesses are free to operate during mandated shutdowns, the federal background check system has become backlogged.

“A lot of people having been put on delay,” Parro said.

According to current federal law, if a background check for a gun purchase takes longer than three days to complete, the sale of the firearm is approved by default.

Earlier this year at the Vermont Statehouse, H.610 was written to make Vermonters wait until a background check is completed before taking possession of a firearm. The bill has since been modified so that once three days are up, the gun shop can decide to proceed with the sale.

As the bill made its way through committees, Parro testified that forcing gun buyers to wait beyond three days would infringe on their Second Amendment rights, and that delays in background checks can happen for simple data-entry errors or technology glitches.

Parro added that based on his discussions with lawmakers, he was surprised at “how little people really know about gun laws.”

Eric Davis, the president of Gun Owners of Vermont, a gun rights organization, also said he’s seeing a spike in interest about gun ownership and use.

“We’ve heard it from the gun shops — it is funny how something like this sort of changes people’s perspective,” Davis told True North. “It kind of proves what we’ve known; there’s a reason that we have this [constitutional] right. People are starting to see that now.”

Davis said it’s a positive development that gun stores and producers are free to stay open during the economic shutdown.

“Now it’s a federal order … it’s business as usual,” he said.

Still, Davis has requested that lawmakers and the governor suspend Vermont’s ban on standard capacity magazines and the ban on private gun transfers “so that Vermonters might be able to obtain the means to protect their families as guaranteed by our constitutions.”

“Vermont’s restrictive law prohibiting the transfer of standard capacity magazines has made it difficult for FFLs to maintain inventory as suppliers must now ship firearms with Vermont compliant magazines which are harder to get,” he wrote.

Davis told True North that stores aren’t taking the virus lightly. Some of them are restricting how many customers can come inside at one time, and shoppers are encouraged to keep safe distances apart.

Davis said new buyers are learning first-hand how many checks they have to undergo to complete a purchase.

“I think a lot of these folks now understand it; they have purchased a gun and they saw how many hoops you have to jump through,” he said.

He hopes new gun owners get excited about participating in gun ownership, and get the training needed to stay safe.

“We very much want to welcome people to our lifestyle,” he said. “We encourage them to not only buy a gun but get some training, take a class, talk to friends who know guns, and have them take you shooting.”

Michael Bielawski is a reporter for True North. Send him news tips at and follow him on Twitter @TrueNorthMikeB.

Images courtesy of Parros Gun Shop and Wikimedia Commons/todos

17 thoughts on “Store owner: Gun sales going strong, many first time buyers learning about the Second Amendment

  1. I love it ! All the lefties are cringing at the possibility of these new gun owners learning through 1st hand experience that there are little inconvenient truths that they have been lied to about like, the NICS System, and that there are differences are between a modern sporting rifle, and an honest to God fire breathing “assault rifle “. And with every new gun owner there is the also the possibility that they may emerge from this pandemic with a new understanding, and appreciation for the 2nd Amendment, and Article 16. Ahh I can see the Lefties shaking in their phobias now !

  2. I grew up with many guns and support second amendment. But I don’t “get” the uber right wing response to some gun related issues.. Better to give in a little – than to lose a lot. I remember days when hunting, a favorite choice was Winchester Model 94 level action 30-30. Remember? Then to a lot of bolt action 30-06’s. Then they added basic scopes….then the scopes got bigger and bigger and better (cheating, I think)….then it came to them and fiberglass stocks and other bells & whistles. But I have YET to see any legitimate hunter use an assault “style” weapon. Simply because they are near worthless in a hunting situtation, say Deer….. They have no long range accuracy.. They aren’t even very good at short range either. I wouldn’t want one. What good are they? To pretend you are a “wannabe” Navy Seal, on secret mission, to get bad guys??. What good is a rapid fire 20 or 30 round clip? You aren’t hunting with that, you aren’t target shooting with that….paper targets….you are just blowing things up – quickly – that are very close to you. That’s it. But go ahead an buy them. It’s your right to.

    • I too grew up in rural Vermont and used my Model 94 30-30 often. You are completely wrong with your claims regarding lack of ‘long range accuracy’. I’d gladly challenge you to an accuracy duel – you with your Winchester, and I’ll bring along my Daniel Defense chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor. We can begin the contest at 400 yards and move up to 1000.

      Regarding the rest of your diatribe – I fail to see anywhere in either the Second Amendment or Article 16 of Vermont’s Constitution where ‘hunting’ or ‘target shooting’ are mentioned. Since you feel so strongly about a ’20 or 30 round magazine’, I suggest you ask the Commissioner of Public Safety why, in the second safest State in the Union, LE feels the need to carry the exact same thing.

    • The 2nd amendment is not about hunting rifles and the AR-15 is not a assault
      rifle. A M4A1 IS a assault rifle that can’t be owned by the general public without
      a special permit..that is primary weapon of the Seals of which they have about 50 different ones to choose from. The AR-15 is a perfect home defense weapon as it is light weight
      easy to aim and bring on target. For old people, females and young it’s the perfect weapon. Maybe if the gun grabbers would actually take care of the mental people and actually incarcerate and punish the ones abusing guns there would be no need for “right wing” voicing their support of the 2nd amendment. Just recently in my town a house was invaded by 2 people with bats and knives and 30 round clip could soon be emptied keeping them out of your house..

    • You cant be further from the truth. “Assault weapons” are just rifles. Having the trem “ASSAULT” does not make them less accurate that any good hunting rifle. Many, many people use them for hunting, including my wife and I. If you believe what you said, you are just ignorant.

  3. I’m certainly not opposed to the 2nd Amendent, but for the life of me, I can’t understand why number 1, in light of the virus problem, it’s so important that gun stores remain open, and 2, why there’s such an over reaction to limiting the size of magazines on assault rifles persumably used for hunting and target practice. If a shooter is so inept, that he or she can’t hit a target after eight trys for example, they shouldn’t be allowed near a gun.

    • It is precisely because the ownership and use of weapons by citizens without ANY infringement whatsoever by government is a God-give right that is outlined within the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution, declaring to government that this is a “no-go zone” for those institutions, that any action therefore taken to restrict such rights is an abomination and a violation of real law. All who have such questions or interests as these should read the aforementioned authoritative documents thoroughly.

      • And I will further add, all emotions and rationalizations contrary to what is the foundational standard be damned.

    • Have you ever been attacked by multiple persons trying to break in your home Mike?
      It’s apparent you haven’t as you could burn thru a 30 rd mag fending them off.
      Again the 2nd Amendment isn’t about hunting.. it’s about being able to protect yourself
      and take on a repressive government should the need arise. Shall not be infringed upon
      seems to be hard for a lot of people to understand when it’s so clearly worded..
      If it’s mass shootings your trying to deter you might want to look at the FBI who’s had
      tabs on all of them and did nothing…..

    • Mike, I already answered one of your similar questions in another article. Why are you opposed to standard size magazines? I am a former NRA certified handgun and shotgun instructor. Most full sized semi-auto pistols come with a two 15 round magazine. If I have 2 of them I can reload in an instant. So size doesn’t matter if you think 2 fifteen round mags is any better. In any national emergency the police are not always available to respond. Now say you live in a rural town that doesn’t have a police dept. and there are no state police in your area. Three drug using criminals arrive at your house to steal whatever they can. They don’t care if you are home or not because they are armed with guns. They don’t care about magazine size so they all have lots of ammo loaded and ready to go. You are inside your house with a government approved 7 round magazine and you are a law abiding person. I don’t have to finish this story and I hope you have enough imagination to see it’s not a good situation! The second amendment doesn’t make you or anyone buy firearms. Vermont has a rich history of freedom, individual fortitude and firearms. If this year the government says you can have 10 rounds then next year 7 rounds and then they say you need a license to buy ammo and like now certain firearms can’t be purchased in Vermont because they come with larger magazines than the overlords allow. You see, it doesn’t stop. If firearms restrictions worked so well to begin with, why do we need more. If you wish to feel save because of firearms restrictions you could move to Chicago, Baltimore or New Orlearns where guns are almost illegal to own. And all of those cities have record gun deaths by criminals who don’t give a damn about any laws. “The right of the people (us) to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed”.

  4. The governor needs to act and end the capacity ban on magazines and uphold the values this country was built on, as the present times give a prime example of how government cannot rule the people and protect all in a crisis. We the people must protect ourselves and property as free people, AMERICANS.

  5. More people that recognize that government sponsored “common sense gun control” don’t make any sense, the better.

  6. “He’s also using this opportunity to educate new gun owners on why the Second Amendment is an important freedom.”

    “I’m trying to plant the seed,” he said. “… I’m trying to educate these first-time owners to get them to understand how important the Second Amendment is.”

    As a rule the Leftist’s tend to be the most uneducated in the area of the founding documents,most if they read and understood the federalist papers and the founders thoughts behind the bill of rights would have a apoplexy .

    If they would put the Lefts kool aid down and educate themselves,there may be new found hope for the Republic. Perhaps this is the spark to learn as the government education centers have failed to educate in American history and civics.

  7. And, hopefully, a lot of these people change their political affiliations away from the anti-gun leftist Democrat/”Progressive” ideology.

    • Alex

      Perhaps they will learn that the Democrat/”Progressive” antithetical to the founding documents of the Republic,just as the supposed ”Progressive”conservatives,a perfect example would be our current mr. gov.

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