Updated: October 17, 2020 11:37 PM
Created: October 17, 2020 09:55 PM
(ABC 6 News) -- 2020 is an unusual year for many of us, and for some people, they want to take extra safety precautions by purchasing a firearm.
Eyota Firearms gun shop owner Charles Pearson said sales in his store are up 50% from last year, "I think there's a lot of fear right now in people and some panic, not only from the election but from the unrest in Saint Paul. I think people are concerned about the response from law enforcement and are taking on their own responsibility,” Pearson said.
Firearm permits have also jumped about 200% to 300% in Olmsted County, according to Sheriff Kevin Torgerson, “It's attributed to two or three different things but one being we see a boost every election year and with COVID-19 and the civil unrest type of things that have been going on to. It's just a lot of things that are causing people to be uneasy,” Sheriff Torgerson said.
Torgerson said two people are usually managing permits but they had to hire another to keep up with demand.
COVID-19 also forced the government center to shut down in March, causing a backlog of applications because no staff was around, Torgerson said, "We're going to add two other staff people working half times on those renewals so we can keep those going. So we'll have basically five people now working and that doesn’t count our detention staff that looks at the approvals once they're done,” Sheriff Torgerson said.
Owners from the Runnings in Austin gun shop also said they're seeing an increase in sales.
Sheriff Torgerson said next week the permit to carry renewal process will be updated.
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