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Monday, April 23, 2018

The sale of weapons in Manatee County remains stable

Por Damian

Although the sale of weapons has increased in Florida in the more than two months since the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward, Floridian Manatee County gun shops report that sales remain unchanged.

Across the United States, this type of shooting has usually led to an increase in the sale of weapons. Following the February 14 massacre at Parkland High School, which left 17 students and teachers dead, the sale of guns has soared in Florida. But in Manatee County, armory owners say the sale remains unchanged.


At the Aegis Tactical armory in Lakewood Ranch, co-owner Jaci Krawtschenko says he has not observed any major changes in the sale of weapons in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting. "We still sell rifles, so the AR is still selling", Krawtschenko said. "The only thing that has changed is the law".

Gov. Rick Scott signed a law in March that increases the minimum age for all arms purchases from 18 to 21 years. The new law also established a three-day waiting period and a procedure to remove weapons from people that are found as mentally unstable. But Krawtschenko's armory seldom has clients under the age of 21 who buy rifles, the woman said. In general, the few clients under 21 who have are teenagers who live on large properties.

"Everyone in the gun owner community was very saddened by what happened", Krawtschenko said. "The important thing that is being discussed is the need to pay more attention to mental health ... In this world there are people who need attention and we need to give it to them."

Krawtschenko, owner of the armory with her ex-husband, says they have seen an increase in demand for the many courses they offer. The greatest demand has been in workshops that teach people to be attentive to their environment and what to do in the face of a threat. These workshops teach how to respond to situations such as shootings, robbery of armed vehicles and others, and try to teach people how to get out of these situations, and if they can´t, what to do to protect themselves.

"The Parkland shooting has made people more aware of their surroundings", Krawtschenko said. "The main thing in our armory is security and responsibility in the possession of weapons."

Following the massacre at Parkland, several churches have requested training from Aegis Tactical. Roger McManaman, owner of the Red Barn Gun Shop armory in Bradenton, was busy serving several customers last Friday before noon.

"As far as I can see, there have been no changes," said McManaman. In the ASAP Gun and Pawn armory, Administrator Craig Yingling said that arms sales have not changed. "They went up a bit for a week or two after the shooting, because people were not sure if they were going to change the gun laws", Yingling said. "Since then everything has returned to normal".