First time buyers, many of them women, driving gun sales to surge in Washington state

Gun sales surged across the country and Washington state added to that momentum.

The state ranked 17th in the country for the most guns sold last month. It may surprise you that much of that demand is coming from first time gun buyers, many of them women.

Cheryl Brixner came armed with a lot of questions on Wednesday.

“May I hold this one again please,” Brixner said.

She’s shopping around and ready to commit for the first time.

The North Seattle woman says all the unrest as well as increasing crime compelled her to buy a gun.

“I could not defend myself physically, I am older, I’m alone, I’m a single woman,” Brixner said.

She says there are longer response times in Seattle and she is worried that an officer won’t make it on time to help if she ever needed it.

“They’ve cut back on funding and sorts don’t have manpower anymore,” Brixner said.

Lynnwood Gun says in 2020, roughly 70% of their customers were first-time gun buyers many of them women in their mid 20’s into their 80’s.

Q13 News also spoke with customer Jamey Hough who bought guns for him and his wife.

They never entertained the idea of owning a gun until the pandemic.

“The sound of guns have always kind of scared me, they are loud, I’ve gone shooting with friends, I’m hesitant to even grab them,” Hough said.

He’s gone from that hesitance to owning multiple firearms.

“This is strictly protection for my family if there is ever a scenario we lose power, lawlessness takes over, we just don’t know with COVID happening, crime, it’s a reality,” Hough said.

Hough says some of his family members can’t believe he owns guns but the Renton dad says he feels better equipped to protect his family. Hough and his wife plan on visiting a gun range so she can learn how to shoot.

As for Brixner, she found a gun she wanted to buy but she also wanted to go to a gun range first and try out the model. Lynnwood Gun is encouraging anyone new to guns to train and educate themselves.

Lynnwood Gun says they are getting customers of all backgrounds from all over Western Washington.

The demand is widespread. For example, South Sound 911, which tracks much of the gun sales in Pierce County, says in 2019 they had 20,181 firearm transfers compared to 51,495 in 2020.