Soaring gun sales, pistol permits spark Southington business

SOUTHINGTON — Once indifferent to the world of guns, an instructor said he found ample opportunity to open up a business when firearms purchases and pistol permits soared.

“I never thought I would be doing this. It just kind of just fell into place,” said Joshua Serafino, owner of Lock N’ Load, a firearms academy located at 1573 Meriden-Waterbury Turnpike. “I was never really into (firearms), never was really against them.”

Not until a friend of his encouraged him to obtain his carrying license did he find the notion of guns appealing. He said he reserved a particular fondness for the Beretta M9, once a primary sidearm for the U.S. military.

He gradually pursued various certifications for teaching classes, but it was a peripheral interest. He was working as a security technician full-time.

When COVID-19 broke out, the demand for pistol-permit classes increased along with firearms purchases.

“I was sold out for about a month and a half at one point running classes five days a week,” said Serafino. “Then my next thought process was: ‘Why am I sending all these students to other gun stores when I can send them to myself?’”

According to an NPR report, gun sales in 2020 largely exceed those made in the previous year.

Attaching a gun store to the facility was a “logical step,” Serafino said.

Trevor Chapman, a full-time instructor at Lock N’ Load, said he likes the variety of firearm types.

Asked what he likes most about teaching classes, Chapman said “teaching my hobby to other people.”

He added the environment at the firearms academy is fun, engaging, serious and confident.

He pointed out that students are required to learn gun safety, different firearms functions, the basics of ammunition and other handgun fundamentals in order to obtain their legal certifications.

Lock N’ Load staff can be contacted through their website or by calling (860) 387-4050.









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