Westman Precision gunshop in Iron Mountain remains open as 'essential business'
Michigan has been under a stay home order since Monday, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Many other states are following suit, with Wisconsin’s order taking effect Wednesday morning, leaving only essential businesses to operate with in-person employees.
Many businesses have been taking a hit during this difficult time, but Westman Precision, in Iron Mountain, remains open.
"So we're considered an essential because we are a manufacturer of firearms,” said Tommy Westman, the owner of Westman Precision.
Westman, is also a gunsmith, so he is able to fully run his machine shop right now.
"We do everything from cleanings, to custom build rifles,” he said.
He says the shop has been extremely busy.
"We've probably done as much in one week as we typically would maybe do in a month or two,” said Westman.
It's a pattern seen at similar shops nationwide and it's creating a shortage of guns and ammo.
"I'm a little bit worried about what's going to happen in the next few weeks, just hearing chatter in the industry about the limited supply, and just the lack of stuff coming out,” he said.
But during this time, Westman is still focused on health and safety. The shop has changed business hours, so it is open for face-to-face interaction, but for a shorter time. They also urge the public to call the store at, 906-221-1144, to see if what they need is in stock.
Westman says he has thought about curbside pick-up, but it is a challenge in this industry.
"Guns can't really do that because there is the background check that you have to do."
Westman Precision will stay open as long as it is allowed.
"As Yoopers we're all pretty strong anyways, so you know we how how to stick together, and as a community I think that we can get through this we just all need to be smart."