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Gun stores report record sales as Washington state prepares to enact new firearm law

Guns at a gun store.
Guns at a gun store.
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Several Washington gun store owners are reporting a spike in gun sales ahead of a new state law going into effect on July 1 that will ban firearm magazines with more than 10 rounds.

Trent Nicols was one of many people who stopped by Rehv Arms Wednesday in Covington although he just didn’t by ammo and firearm magazines.

“I got two 30-round magazines for an AR,” he said. “I bought an AR-15 today and took one home.”

Gun store operators said they are seeing record sales.

“Sales have been phenomenal,” said Jody Lewis, the co-owner of Rehv Arms. “From a magazine increase, we’ve seen a 100 percent increase here. We can’t keep them in stock. We order them by the case and they’re gone, literally after a day or two after getting them.”

Store owners say it’s because of new gun restrictions that state lawmakers and Gov. Jay Inslee approved.

“The majority of people have been stocking up, or adding standard capacity magazines 15-30 rounds," Lewis said. "Sometimes 50 rounds."

That’s why Nicols stopped by.

“It was kind of the law, a lot of pressure from the government, especially our state that’s putting on restrictions,” he said.

The new law will halt the manufacturing, distribution and sale of firearm magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

It will affect handguns as well as AR-15 style rifles.

Some people said the new law won’t sufficiently stop crime.

“The legislation has their heart in their right place," Lewis said. "But at the end of the day, the impact it has on law-abiding citizens, it really just hinders them from being able to properly protect themselves from people who do bad things regardless of the laws."

“I don’t think it’s going to deter crime," Nicols said. "I still think criminals are going to end up with whatever they want."

At Rehv Arms in Covington, the owner says sales guns sales have increased about 25 percent.

In Bellevue, at Wade's Eastside Guns, that store has seen a 25 percent increase in the past few weeks.

According to the FBI and NCIS, when it comes to firearm background checks, Washington state did a total of 63,908 background checks last month. That number is up from 52,914 checks in January.

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Background checks don't necessarily show the number of guns sold because a person can buy several firearms at a time and it requires just one check.

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