Handgun at Mitchell Supply

For Mitchell Supply in Great Falls, many of their recent increase in sales come from first-time gun buyers looking for self-defense weapons like handguns and AR-15 style weapons. Photo by Afiq Hisham. 

CASCADE COUNTY - In the weeks since presidential election results started pouring in, a store in Great Falls says they’re facing a rise in firearm demand amidst ongoing ammunition shortages.

Mitchell Supply tells Montana Right Now they’ve seen a 30% rise in sales lately, especially when it comes to AR-15 style rifles and handguns.

“In Montana, people own a lot of guns already, and even some of them have been buying more just because they’re afraid some of the weapons might become outlawed, illegal,” said Store Runner James Mitchell, who owns the shop with his wife. Other customer worries include the novel Coronavirus and talks nationwide of ‘Defunding the Police.’ 

“Who’s going to be looking out to keep people law abiding. That’s the big concern,” said Mitchell.

The increased demand is lower than he expected, but still high for this time of year.It hasn’t affected the store’s gun inventory, though it is putting more strain on a months-long trend of limited bullet supplies. 

“It’s been difficult, because like I say, we have hundreds of thousands of rounds on backorder and you just can’t get it,” said Mitchell. “I mean stuff trickles in. It’s very limited supply is what we’re getting.”

With Christmas on the way, Mitchell said he’s getting whatever he can while posting supply updates on his store’s official Facebook page. In the meantime, if you’re new to firearms and want to avoid rookie mistakes, he recommends doing research on safely handling and storing them first before making any purchase. 

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