Gun sales surge ahead of new restrictions in Vermont

Published: Apr. 9, 2018 at 3:46 PM EDT
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Henry Parro has owned Parro's Gun Shop in Waterbury for more than 35 years. With the governor expected to sign new gun laws in Vermont, one of which bans bump stocks and limits magazine size, Parro says his shop has been busy.

"Fear is the biggest factor. Right now, people are afraid of what they can and can't own-- the high-capacity magazines," Parro said. "Up until the government is saying we don't want you to have [high-capacity magazines], we didn't sell that many of them and now we can't keep them in stock."

The looming threat of a ban is bringing people through the doors, people like Peter Goodell. He's stocking up on some high-capacity magazines before it's too late.

"I'm purchasing those magazines so that I can make my guns functional for probably the rest of my life," Goodell said.

The gun enthusiast from Montpelier calls it an unnecessary change.

"I don't think the capacity of the magazine has anything at all to do with the safety of all the weapons," Goodell said.

Parro says people who might not normally get in his shop are now spending money.

"Right now, people who are sitting on the fence thinking about a purchase, they've decided to do it before the governor signs the bill just so there won't be any impact on it," Parro said.

But the spike in business now may mean fewer sales later in the year.

"Everyone who has purchased a firearm will probably not purchase any more this summer, making it a very long, very low in business summer," Parro said.

As more people stockpile for the future, Parro is worried what the next step might be for gun owners like himself.

"Traditionally what happens when you get your foot in the door with gun control, next year, they're going to say, well, we've done this, let's do more," Parro said.

Multiple gun dealers around the state told WCAX News the same thing: sales are up now but they are worried about the future.

We reached out to GunSense Vermont for their response to the uptick in sales, they had not yet gotten back to us when this story was published.

If the governor signs it as expected, the law banning bump stocks and limiting magazine size starts Oct. 1.