How riots, politics and a pandemic drove record gun sales in Michigan

How riots, politics and a pandemic drove record gun sales in Michigan

Three days after the Capitol insurrection, Marc Boyer spent his coronavirus stimulus check on a shotgun. Boyer, a 56-year-old U.S. Navy veteran, felt dread as a frenzied mob that spent hours assaulting police and roaming the halls of Congress slinked back to their homes across the country. Boyer said the riots proved police can’t stop homegrown terrorists, so he ventured out to find a weapon to protect himself. The Jackson native encountered long lines and empty shelves at three firearms dealers in Southeast Michigan before buying a shotgun at a gun show in Adrian. Lake Orion resident Andreas Maier bought his first AR-15 this week after he and his wife purchased handguns for personal defense a few months prior. Maier cited political tensions as a reason to arm himself but also said he’s concerned the incoming president will limit access to firearms. “You’re going to have a much harder time taking something away from someone who already has it,” Maier said. Jeff Stahl, manager at Full Bore Firearms in Alpena, said sales at his business tripled last year. Customers expressed fears about the property damage and violence that accompanied some Black Lives Matter protests “in the big cities” could meet them at home in Northern Michigan, Stahl said. “People want to be able to defend themselves; people are scared,” Stahl said. “They have every right to be. Our country is in a sad state of affairs right now.” Michigan gun sales shot to a historic high last year amid […]

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