PHOENIX — A Kentucky company is defending its pricing for N95 masks after being accused of price gouging Arizona first responders.
Galls, LLC, claims its employees are working "day and night" to get the N95 masks, which offer medical workers and first responders the highest level of protection against coronavirus. Due to short supply, Galls executives said they saw a significant price increase from the manufacturer. On its website, Galls pledges no profits on sales of protective masks to first responders.
The public defense comes after two Arizona congressmen called for federal, state, and congressional investigations into Galls.
Reps. Greg Stanton and Ruben Gallego, both Phoenix Democrats, said Galls drastically marked up the masks and required partial payment upfront, a sharp departure from their prices and policies before the COVID-19 crisis. They heard of the alleged price-gouging from the Phoenix's police and fire departments, who use Galls as a vendor.
"It's just plain wrong," Stanton said Wednesday. "This is immoral to do that, to try to make a buck because of this global pandemic when we know the lives of these police officers and firefighters are on the line."
Arizona's attorney general sent a letter Thursday to the attorney general in Kentucky, where Galls is based, asking for help in a price-gouging investigation. He wrote Galls N95 masks were priced 500% above their previous levels.
After hearing about Galls' policy not to make a profit on the masks Friday, Stanton said, "It's the right decision."