Gun stores see rise in safe sales after deadly school shooting

More guns being sold, but so are more safes, gun store manager says

By Ashley Mitchem - Reporter, anchor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Sales of gun safes have climbed in the week since a mass shooting took the lives of 17 adults and children at a high school in Parkland.

As gun owners invest in ways to keep their firearms out of the wrong hands, News4Jax visited the experts at Green Acres Sporting Goods to find out which safes are the best.

“We all have children,” Green Acres manager Phillip Gazalah said. “It hits home when something like this happens.”

Gazalah said that, since the deadly school shooting in South Florida, he has seen an increase in the sale of AR-15s -- the gun used by accused shooter Nikolas Cruz. 

But, he said, he's also seen an increase in sales of gun safes. Gazalah said his store on Normandy Boulevard is offering $200 off large safes and 10 percent off handgun safes to try to encourage gun owners to lock up their firearms.

According to authorities, Cruz's weapons were kept in a gun safe, and an adult he was living had the key to the safe. But the adult didn't know that Cruz also had a key.

Gun experts said that's one reason a key safe might not be the best option for some households. Green Acres staff said locks with a code that must be punched in are the best bet to make sure unwanted hands don't gain access to a weapon.

“You don’t have to worry about somebody having a spare key or being able to make a copy of the key,” Gazalah said. “It's really the most secure way to store your weapon.”

Besides a safe with a six-digit code, another option for handguns is a safe that scans for fingerprints.

Gun owners who don’t have the money for a big safe can still get a free lock for their firearm from Green Acres. Staff said no purchase is necessary and there's no limit for those who need more than one.

Staff members at Green Acres said they have turned away customers when they felt uncomfortable about selling them a gun, but it's a rare occurrence.

The store also sells bump stocks, which make a semi-automatic rifle fire more rapidly, but staff members said they don't sell many of them. If Gov. Rick Scott gets his way, they won't sell any.

Scott announced Friday that he will ban the purchase and sale of bump stocks in Florida. It's one of several changes he's proposing to gun laws as Floridians demand change following the school massacre.

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