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Gun sales increase as county sees spike in home invasions

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- A recent spike in area home invasions has nervous homeowners arming themselves so they don’t become the next violent crime victim.

Gun sales are up at the Midwest Gun Exchange in Mishawaka. And the general manager said the headlines of nine home invasions in the last two months has people buying a gun to protect their home for the first time.

Annamarie Weddell is a recent victim of a break-in.

“They came in through a window and left through our back door.”

That recent home break in brought her to Midwest Gun Exchange.

“You never know what’s going to happen anymore,” she said.

She is ready to buy her first gun to protect her home and her family.
And she is not alone--- general manager Brad Rupert says people are taking home security into their own hands.

“We’ve seen a large increase in first time buyers. Or people who are here to buy something specifically for personal defense or home defense.”

Rupert attributes it to the fragile economy—and recent home invasions. Nine in the last two months.

“I would say the majority of our customers are interested in personal protection or home defense.”

Iraq war veteran Curtis Kennedy is looking for a gun as well. He said it is one of the best ways to scare off an intruder.

Kennedy said, “I do believe that firearms in the right hands, with right choices can be a beneficial thing.”

Women, veterans—and people of all ages are leaving here locked and loaded.

“Everybody from 18 to long guns, 21 for hand guns on up to the 90s, over 100, we’ve certainly had customers of that age as well.”

And customers like Weddell who will be ready to fight back—should someone break in again.

“I think we’re just going to get one. Maybe a little more protection in our house,” said Weddell.

Rupert advices any first time gun owner to take a class and spend time getting comfortable with their gun at a shooting range.

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