Chesterfield gun shop owner lauds booming business since Virginia’s political shift

Local News

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — As the General Assembly quickly pushes several new gun control measures through, some local gun shops say “business is booming.”

Southern Gun World owner Karen Ballengee said Republicans in control didn’t do her business, located on Midlothian Turnpike in Chesterfield, many favors.

“Within the past two years, probably two and a half years, it’s been really slow in the gun business. Ever since the Republicans did get back into the White House,” she said.

Ballengee told 8News that changed in November, when Democrats took over Virginia’s General Assembly. She told 8News on average, she’s gone from selling between 55 and 70 guns a month to more than twice that now.

“It has been up and crazy,” she said. “People that would never even think about wanting to buy a gun are coming in to buy guns.”

Most of her revenue comes from her neighboring business, Southern Police Equipment, where she sells guns and gear to law enforcement and the military.

When it comes to regular people buying a new firearm, it comes down to price, according to the owner. Ballengee told 8News her most sold gun is a type of semi-automatic pistol that’s just under $300.

“The regular civilian today is extremely worried that they’re gonna take away all their rights,” Ballengee said.

An employee at another local gun shop, New American Arms, told 8News their sales are up too, but wouldn’t disclose any numbers.

Meanwhile online, a company out of Houston, Texas selling ammunition said this January they’ve sold 80 percent more ammunition to Richmonders than in January of last year.

On Tuesday, the House of Delegates pushed through a bill that would ban assault-like weapons, including the popular AR-15.

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