Pawnshops stay in business during COVID-19: firearms among hot items


FLATWOODS, KY (WOWK) – Customers visiting local pawn shops have been arming up for the pandemic, in more ways than one.

Pawnshops have remained open through Governor Andy Beshear’s order for non-essential businesses to close their doors. The shops were placed on the list regarding financial stability by offering check-cashing and loan services.

A couple of the hot items in the shops, while the pandemic closed down other businesses, were firearms and ammunition.

Steve’s Pawn and Jewelry in Flatwoods, Kentucky Manager, Travis Stutler says at first he was concerned when other businesses were closing their doors, but those worries soon went away. Firearm sales in the shop quintupled compared to a regular spring business month.

The sudden growth in sales kept the pawn shop up and running, even with limitations on other items allowed to be sold. The shop’s staff closed off the jewelry sales while the pandemic was forcing other businesses to take precautions.

According to Stutler, a large percentage of the sales came from first-time gun owners.

People who have never purchased, owned, or even held a firearm before and we were glad to allow them access and give them a small primer on gun safety.

Travis Stutler

Stutler also says that other pawnshops in the area have also reported an increase in firearm sales. With more businesses starting to open back up, Stutler says their pawnshop has gone back to what they consider their normal business.

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