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Local gun stores see initial spike in sales during stay at home order

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NORMAL (WEEK) -- To maintain social distancing, CI Shooting Sports in Normal closed its range, but sales have skyrocketed. 

"It was definitely a black Friday situation, we've sold hundreds and hundreds of guns and thousands of dollars in ammunition," said owner Stephen Stewart. 

Stewart said after the Illinois stay at home order was first announced, they had a line out the door. He said it seemed like black Friday everyday. Sales were happening so fast, that not even the state could keep up. 

"For about the first five days of this rush, we were not getting any background checks back, and though it was past the 72 hour wait, people had to understand that we had to wait until we received confirmation back from the state, and then they could pick up their firearm," he added. 

Since then, things have calmed down. The store is now allowing only five shoppers at a time. All customers are asked to sanitize their hands before entering. Stewart said they closed their range and canceled classes because he thought it was the safest option. 

"We just canceled those and are just doing this so we don't get the crowds, currently we're trying to follow the social distancing guidelines set by the CDC," said Stewart. 

Ultimately - Stewart said the decision on whether or not a range should be classified as essential or stay open should be up to each individual business. But while President Trump declared ranges essential, the governor's executive order only lists gun and ammo shops as essential, not ranges. 

Stewart said they will use this time to do a deep clean of their range and reorganize story displays. 

Andy Weber

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