Business owners say gun sales are up, safety classes full - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Business owners say gun sales are up, safety classes full

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Officials report gun sales are up across the state of Wisconsin and a record-setting 16,000 calls were made to the state's handgun hotline in the month of February.

Business owners said demand is so high, they're having trouble keeping up. But not everyone thinks the boost in sales is a good thing.

"Business has definitely been through the roof," Central Wisconsin Firearms Sales Manager Brad Nenstiel said. Employees told Newsline 9 since concealed carry became law last year, gun sales have nearly doubled.

'Demand especially since November has really, really, really picked up," Nenstiel said.

That, and safety and tactical training courses continue to fill up, including the shop's women only class.

Stacey Morache of Wausau said she applied for a concealed carry permit and bought her first gun recently. 

"I spend a lot of time alone with my kids and I wanted to be able to protect myself and them," she said.

She said taking a training course made a big difference. 

"Just to pull it out of the holster just to walk around and carry, you know, it makes you feel more safe, more secure."

And she's not alone. The Wisconsin Department of Justice reports more than 100,000 concealed carry permits have been approved since November. Many of those for first-time gun owners.

But not everyone sees the boost in gun sales as a positive thing.

"Especially with children you don't really need it around," James Wallace of Wausau said.

"I think, you know, certain people are going to pull out that weapon at times that they really don't need to and people are going to get hurt or killed," Joel Brown told Newsline 9.

But Nenstiel said training is a top priority. 

"We're very concise to with anything that happens at our classes, but here in our store front too everything's followed to the book," he said.

Employees at Central Wisconsin Firearms said they plan to move the shop into a bigger building on Washington Street in Wausau within the next few months to help them meet growing demand.

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