Gun shop sees increase in sale of self defense items after the killings of two Iowa college students

Published: Sep. 27, 2018 at 5:51 AM CDT
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The recent killings of two Iowa college students, Celia Barquin Arozamena and Mollie Tibbetts are putting a renewed focus on safety.

While some women are heading to self-defense classes others are looking at what products could better protect against an attacker.

Ernie Traugh is the owner Cedar Valley Outfitters, a gun shop in Marion.

Traugh says over the last couple weeks he's had women come in buying firearms, knives, and self-defense keychains, but the most popular item that he has seen parents buying is mace, usually for their daughters.

"It's been a staple product for a long time, but absolutely, I don't know anyone that hasn't seen a large increase in sales for that particular item, especially things made to attach to your hand and wear while you're jogging or biking or whatever, that in particular has been very popular," says Traugh.

He tells us part of the problem with buying things like pepper spray is not everyone knows how it works and how to use it.

"They're going that route because they see it as a non-lethal thing that can be carried more places or less restrictions about it and I don't blame them, it's better than nothing, but what I worry about is people not understanding how to use it you know and how effective it is and when it's not effective," he says.

When sprayed into an attackers face, pepper spray can be very effective in allowing a person enough time to get away.

Cedar Valley Outfitters wants people to understand if you do use mace, there's a chance you can spray it on yourself.

Pepper Spray can cause burning, intense eye pain, blindness, or a feeling of suffocation if inhaled.

They say if you're not sure how to use something like mace, it's a good idea to ask questions.

Cedar Valley Outfitters offer self-defense classes to teach people how to use mace and other weapons to protect themselves.

They will be having a self-defense class for women on October 27th, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.