Coronavirus causes more people to consider personal protection in Louisiana

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BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The uncertainties associated with the coronavirus crisis are causing many people in our area to focus on their own personal protection.

Davtac Custom Arms and Ammo in Bossier City is still open during the stay-at-home order.

“I think our instinct, whenever some sort of scary situation is happening, is to be able to defend ourselves,” said Lee Daville, owner.

When the government mandated businesses to close due to COVID-19, that drove dozens of people into a self-defense mode.

“It’s not to say that anyone feels like there’s gonna be chaos on the streets or anything like that, but they just felt like in that situation, some of our rights that we had every day were being taken away,” said Daville.

The shop is slowly replenishing its supply of handguns, the top seller for personal protection. High demand has made it more difficult to restock shelves.

“The influx of people we got here, it wasn’t our normal people who were here every day,” said Daville. “It was new people. It was people who have never owned a firearm before. People who weren’t sure what caliber of firearm to buy or even what they were.”

But, keeping self-defense top of mind.

“I’ve never been in a situation where I’d actually have to shoot another human being, thank goodness, and I hope I would never be in that situation,” said Melissa Baesler. “But, if I was, I would like to be prepared to protect myself and my family.”

Cara Permenter agreed, saying the pandemic motivated her to sharpen her skills.

“I’m not so much scared of the virus as I am of people who may overreact or panic,” she said. “It does bring peace of mind.”

Red River Range in Shreveport is also letting people pursue their Second Amendment rights.

“In times of crisis, or civil unrest, or I guess just concern, the amount of people that came in at the outset to purchase guns – we sold out of guns,” said Brad Simon, owner.

Those taking aim came from all walks of life.

“Young, old, black, white, man, woman – every single demographic is represented in our client base,” said Simon.

Most customers coming in after the coronavirus outbreak walked away as first-time gun owners.

“The amount of ladies that came in and the comment was, ‘I’ve never held a firearm before, but I need one now’…that was a scary thought,” said Simon.

“You can’t always put your protection in the hands of other people,” said Permenter. “You have to be able to protect yourself.

Both businesses say they are now operating under reduced hours and are using social distancing and sanitizing regularly.

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