After COVID-19 lockdowns and the rise in crime in Chicago, firearm sales soared at a Chicago gun shop. Fox News interviewed Dan Eldridge, owner of Maxon Shooter’s Supplies and Indoor Range, Des Plaines, Illinois. He said that the shop saw more than 200% growth in firearm sales during the height of the pandemic. The store is located only 20 minutes from Chicago.
Eldridge stated that addresses where residents felt safe in their townhomes or doorman buildings in good neighborhoods suddenly didn’t feel as secure.
Eldridge stated “In uncertain times reasonable people will take steps to protect themselves, their loved ones, and themselves,” Fox News reported. For many people that meant buying a firearm and ammunition, as well as the training to use it.
Maxon’s rise in firearm sales coincides with Chicago’s rising violent crime rates. According to the Chicago Tribune, there were at least 800 homicides in Chicago in 2021. This is a record number that Chicago has not seen in 25 years.
Eldridge stated, “Imagine yourself sitting in your downtown condo and watching the Walgreens down the street from where you shop every week get looted repeatedly.” It’s quite distressing when you consider that all that is between you and the mob is a broken glass door and an elderly doorman.
He continued, “You just feel insecure.”
Eldridge’s company analyzed its sales data to find sharp increases in firearms purchases by women and minorities.
Chicago gun shop experiences skyrocketing sales after lockdowns and crime spikes Video
Maxon’s demographics data shows that women buyers increased by 12% from February 2020 to March 2020 according to Maxon’s website. Comparatively to March 2020, black buyers increased by 5% to 10%. Asian buyers rose from 7% to 11%.
Eldridge stated that every firearm brought into the shop in the fourth quarter of 2020 would have been sold within days. Therefore, sales were restricted to what was available. “That continued into 2021, where we just barely surpassed 2020 sales.”
Maxon also saw an increase in demand for training courses. Eldridge believes this is indicative of first-time purchasers.
Eldridge stated that it was an “extraordinary run” and that the run was accompanied by an increase in training activities. Eldridge spoke to Fox News. “We went from 2,700 students in our different classes… to nearly 4700 in a year.”
Maxon continues, “A suite of classes, from basic pistol safety to concealed carry renewals and conceal carry,” he said.
Eldridge stated, “It’s amazing to see that kind of growth in training.” “I believe the training is a great marker for new participants because someone who has been shooting for 20+ years is not going to be training or much more likely to be training.”
Eldridge stated that raw sales figures are significantly more important.
He stated that firearm sales increased by 200% between 2019 and 2020, and they are expected to continue this trend in 2021.