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Unrest in Portland, elsewhere leads to more gun sales in Central Oregon

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The year 2020 has been one of uncertainty for many, from a global pandemic to deepening political division, and many Americans are now feeling unsafe.

Around Central Oregon, that has meant a large increase in gun sales.

Area retailers tell us that many who have never owned a gun before are now looking to buy them.

I headed on Monday to the Central Oregon Shooting Sports Association (COSSA) gun range east of Bend, where Bill Lewis said that in Central Oregon, many of those new gun owners are now showing up for lessons.

"We have seen an increase, because of the pandemic and because of the things that are going on in bigger cities," he said. "We've seen an influx of people that want to learn."

Numbers from the Deschutes County Sheriff's Office also point to more people with self-protection on their minds.

The agency said it received 276 applications for concealed permits in August of 2019. This August, the number jumped to 431, meaning the sheriff's office saw about a 56% increase from a year ago.

The agency said that in order to process the larger number of applications, it's had to more than double the number of daily appointments, from 12 to 28.

Jake Floyd, the owner of Jake's Long Range Customs in Prineville, said that while he hasn’t seen quite the uptick of conventional gun stores, as a gunsmith he's still getting orders from many who tell him they feel angst about the state's and country’s unrest.

Jake gave an example on how some people are going all-in.

“Just the other day, a gun (owner) showed up on my front door. I get a call from a gentleman saying, 'Hey, I ordered a gun. He comes in -- it was an M82A1 .50(-caliber) BMG (rifle), and I was talking to the guy -- and it was his first gun he ever owned."

Bend / Central Oregon / Deschutes County / Government-politics / Top Stories
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Blake Allen

Blake Allen is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.



    1. A firearm doesn’t make you less afraid.
      It does change your fear for your safety to fear of killing someone, innocent or criminal.
      It does increase your fear, that you may not be able to pull the trigger when you need to.
      It does increase your fear, that you might not be justified in drawing your weapon.
      It does increase your fear, that the wrong person may get hold of your firearm.
      It does increase your fear, that it will only escalate the situation.
      It does increase your fear, that LE may mistake you for the bad guy.

      Deciding to arm yourself, if you are a consciences person, does not make you brave or give you courage . . . It adds to your responsibilities and fears. To think otherwise is stupid. I’ve had to draw my weapon twice, once on a person and once on a dog, and it isn’t a good feeling either time. I didn’t fire either time for good reason (the guy threw his pistol down and OSP took charge with the dog). A responsible person tries to avoid being put in the position of drawing their weapon, not look for a reason to draw it.

      So you’re right, owning a firearm doesn’t make you less afraid . . . owning a firearm just adds to your fears. Personally, I’m not afraid whether I’m carrying or not, as I tend to avoid situations where one might be needed. However, when and if the time comes, I will use it to defend myself, my family, my friends, or those in need. If you have any doubts, LE is friends and I will do whatever I need to assist them.

      1. I have had to do the same. I have pulled my weapon on three different occasions. I started carrying after I found myself in need of a weapon but had none. The feeling of being unprotected out weighs the so called fear you mention. I do not want to use my weapon but I am certainly not afraid to use it. Carrying a weapon has not added to my fear one bit. It has just added to the items I don’t leave home without. This list, wallet, phone, keys, weapon. Fear doesn’t factor into it. Just items a keep with me. Obviously there are places that I cannot legally bring it with me. That’s why I had a carry safe in my car. But fear? Not anymore. Responsibility? Yes, It’s a huge responsibility.

      2. you’re pumping more fear than the media is, and your view is one sided. a gun doesn’t pile on more fears but it does come with responsibility just like a car or home or anything else a person might buy. having a gun for personal protection can give someone a peace of mind that they can defend themselves if need be. no normal rational person wants to pull a trigger or point their gun at another living being. having a gun and not needing it is a hell of a lot less scary than needing a gun and not having one

      3. Very well said… Those that are afraid of guns, and those that don’t believe in private ownership of guns don’t understand. They think everyone that owns a gun, or anyone that carries a gun is a violent, whack job cowboy just looking for an excuse to pull their gun, or to shoot someone.

        Granted, there are some people that are that way, but most people that carry are very responsible people, and they understand the responsibility and risk that comes with carrying a firearm, and possibly using it in a self defense situation…
        If someone decides to start carrying a firearm, they need to understand what can happen
        if they shoot someone, because it’s to late once they pull the trigger…
        It’s not a movie, there are no do overs.

    2. Ummm……so your human right??? Yeah I thought so, guess what that means. That means you have a brain with a limbic system. Unless your a sociopath or Alex (Free Solo dude), then you most likely have a functioning amygdala and experience fear on a regular basis. Sure owning a gun may have fear but to say those who don’t are some how fearless is just plain ignorant. Fear is seen with people in BLM, Antifa, Democrats, Republicans, Atheist’s, Christians, etc.

        1. It is a great caliber, in the hands of someone with a lot of experience and training.
          In my opinion it’s the worst possible choice he could have made for a first gun,
          or for a home / self defense weapon… Most 50 cals are long and very heavy.
          Not really a great choice for clearing your house, or trying to conceal on a trip to WallyMart…
          On the other hand, if he is a good shot, he will be able to keep people from
          getting closer than 1500 yards or so from his front door in a SHTF situation,
          and, they are cool, Very cool…

    1. they are a bigger danger to themselves than they pose to the public. have you seen some of those idiots on youtube trying to figure out how to shoot/inspect/clean a gun?

  1. And if you don’t have ammo you’re out of luck. There isn’t a primer to be found in the country for us who reload. Bought a pistol in may the waiting time was 3hrs bought a lower receiver in august it was 8 days

      1. No, but once again the Dems get credit for increasing firearms sales at an incredible rate. I think it’s comical because the liberal politicians are so anti-gun, and they use gun control for political purposes during every election, yet they have done more to increase private gun ownership than any other group in existence…

    1. (tolerated communist terrorist activity in portland oregon) leads to more gun sales in Central Oregon… did that fill in your blank well enough toe jam?

  2. Come on ktvz! This station and all the media is to blame for this wonderful country’s problems! It’s stupid a$* stories like this. All they do is cause panic and anxiety into the public. We should peacefully protest in front the ktvz station.

  3. In balancing the equation it is important to point out that ANTIFA, BLM, Democratic Socialists of America, and even perhaps the “central oregon peacekeepers” are likewise arming themselves (with firearms”).

    Equal rights, after all.

    1. those antifa/ blm “central Oregon peacekeepers ” are nothing more than racist, trashy transplants. the name of their terrorist group is just like blm. blm doesn’t care about black people and thes clowns disrupt the peace. these pukes need to go back to the dump they came from

    2. yeah lets arm the terrorists. i mean it falls in line with Democratic values Obama gave billions to iran to make WMD he funded ISIS. they fund blm/antifa terrorist group. Democrats wanna take the guns from law abiding citizens and arm the criminals. Democrats are so mentally ill and morally bankrupt

      1. Let’s not forget about Obama’s truly awesome ‘Fast and Furious’ deal with the Mexicans…
        That was quite possibly the stupidest thing a U.S President has ever done.
        That deal really highlighted Obamas incredible lack of intelligence, as well as the lack
        of intelligence in the Democratic party.
        I’m sure the Mexican Government and the cartels are still laughing about that deal…

  4. Welcome new gun owners to a rewarding and fun hobby. Now go memorize the four basic rules of gun safety (basically, treat every gun as if loaded; never point your muzzle at anything you are not willing to destroy; keep your finger off of the trigger until you are ready to fire; be sure of your target and what’s behind it). Even if you are not going to carry concealed, take a Concealed Carry class anyway to learn about the laws and when legally you can/cannot shoot a person.
    Now go practice, practice, practice whether it’s dry firing or live ammo. Learn how to fieldstrip and clean your weapon, and learn your firearm’s controls and how to clear malfunctions.
    And again welcome to the world of firearm ownership. Be sure to have fun as shooting is a blast.

      1. Always amazing how progressives want us to not believe what they say. Sure Biden and Harris are both on record as gun grabbers. But you progressives come out and say, “Well they don’t really mean it.”

        “Bingo. You’re right if you have an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is, they should be illegal, period.” – Joe Biden

  5. Predictable outcome. When the police are made to stand down in the face of violent mobs, people will take it upon themselves to protect life and property. Defund the police? Wait’ll you see the alternative.

  6. I’ve sailed around the world through some of the worlds most dangerous countries, west Africa, east Africa, the Red Sea, south Caribbean. (Pirate waters). I’ve been boarded over a dozen times, robbed twice, some situations and some town I thought I wouldn’t make it out alive. No Mace. No guns, no flares, no defense except my wits and fists. Guess what I’m alive. What is wrong with America? How does a gun make you feel safe? Hahaha lowest IQ rate in the world I suppose.

    1. Is everything you write fiction ? If what you said is true, your wits and fists
      had little or nothing to do with your survival. It’s called luck…

      What’s wrong with America ? There are ever increasing numbers of scumbag criminals,
      drug dealers, addicts and extremely violent gangs that have no respect for human life. They will kill someone for something as ridiculous as a dollar bill, or even worse, just because they feel like it. This isn’t something that just started 20 years ago, people have carried guns for many years and basically for the same reasons that many of us do today…

      I’m always very aware of my surroundings, and do what I can to avoid confrontation, but here in the real world, you can’t always avoid bad situations, or talk your way out of a bad situation, and personally I choose not to be a victim, and I’m certainly not going to take a chance bloodying my knuckles on some meth monster, and end up with one of the really awesome diseases that many of dirt bags carry…
      I’ve been carrying for many, many years, and I’ve had extensive training, and I will keep carrying as long as I am physically and mentally able to do so. Not because carrying makes me a bad ass, or feel invincible, but because I look at things realistically, and because I still have a will to live…

  7. “Unrest?” That’s the term they want to use? I would say no. Antifa BLM terrorists are rioting in the cities and democrat liberal politicians are demanding prisons close, criminals released, and police hobbled. Who do they think will protect them?

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