In Age Of Coronavirus, Gun Sales Spike, But Texas Gun Shows Canceled | KERA News

In Age Of Coronavirus, Gun Sales Spike, But Texas Gun Shows Canceled

Mar 17, 2020

In recent days, the Los Angeles TimesThe New York Times and other media outlets have reported a surge in gun purchases across the nation. Their stories have focused on busy gun shops, first time buyers and even delays processing background checks for gun purchases. But not everyone's able to take advantage of the high demand.

In Texas, guns shows — like other mass gatherings in the age of coronavirus — are being canceled. In the Dallas suburb of Mesquite, one major gun show organizer shuttered an event set for this weekend. 

Tim and Michelle Finucane have been running Premier Gun Shows for 47 years. The Fort Worth couple, who organize and promote 55 shows a year on average, said they’re the largest gun show promoter in Texas. But they won't be putting on a gun show this weekend.

“We have some of our people over here right now calling vendors to notify them that our Big Town Mesquite Show this weekend has been canceled," Tim Finucane said. 

The gun show in Mesquite was scrapped because of coronavirus restrictions — and it's not the only one of their upcoming shows that won't be happening. In fact, Finucane said he’s gotten word from cities across Texas that won't be allowing large gatherings. 

“You know in the long run, we understand why these communities are taking the steps they are," he said, "but it’s gonna hurt people financially.”

This weekend's gun show would've had more than 100 exhibitors and 700 tables of merchandise, according to Finucane. He said not all the vendors have storefronts, so these shows are their number one way to move product.

“You know, they’re not able to sell, they’re not able to meet this demand. And it’s certainly having a negative impact that way," Finucane said. "It’s a double-edged sword so to speak.”

The Finucanes said they’re not too worried about their own business yet. But if the restrictions drag on, they’ll have to figure out some way to stay afloat.