Concealed weapons now allowed at schools, playgrounds and bars, prompting safety concerns for many
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Business is booming at Hyatt Guns. Inside the strip-mall gun shop, wedged between a Habitat for Humanity thrift store and a Family Dollar along a West Charlotte highway dotted with check-cashing spots and aging motels, employees wait on the layer of customers in front of the glass cases. Behind the glass are yards of handguns, neatly lined up with barrels pointed out, awaiting scrutiny under the fluorescent glare. During a lull, workers dress up the black matte barrel of a military-style AR-15 tactical rifle with an oversized metallic bow nearly a foot across.
It’s not unusual to sell 100 guns in a day, said Larry Hyatt, the second-generation owner of the shop, which bills itself as the biggest gun specialty store in the U.S. Those average sale figures, however, have little to do with holiday shopping and everything to do with customers’ making use of North Carolina’s concealed-carry laws, which Hyatt said drives about 40 percent of his business.