Other than toilet paper, what is the American public stocking up on during this coronavirus pandemic? Firearms.
Gun sales are through the roof as more and more people who are stuck at home feel the need to protect themselves. This includes purchasing not only more guns, but also ammunition and protective gear.
Do People Feel Unsafe?
It’s not necessarily that people feel more unsafe in these strange times, but they are concerned about civil disorder or social unrest potentially being a problem. There is just a huge feeling of underlying anxiety with everything that is happening in response to the virus right now. Schools, businesses, restaurants, and bars are being closed down. Public events canceled. Major sporting games shut down. Even some public beaches are off limits right now. It’s a new reality for the moment that is very unsettling to many people and with good reason.
The surge in gun sales is an example of what the marketplace calls “panic buying.” Many people fear that as stores close down for the time being, they won’t have access to the guns and ammo they might need. There could also be a shortage with more people stockpiling new firearms. Some stores are already sold out of certain items in big box places like Dick’s Sporting Goods, who can’t keep up with the demand.
First Time Gun Buyers Coming Out in Droves
Many people who haven’t owned a gun before are looking to buy one right now. Gun owners are seeing lines forming outside of their stores from open to close. Many shops are also limiting the number of customers they have inside their stores in order to follow through with some of the social distancing guidelines.
One of the largest gun shops in America is Hyatt Guns in Charlotte, North Carolina. The owner of that shop, Larry Hyatt, said that the crowds of customers he has experienced is something they have never seen before. He also made the point that first time gun buyers were definitely a big part of the crowd. The other time he experienced a big push in sales was right after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012 that took place in Connecticut.
Online Sales Have Also Gone Up
Online ammunition and gear sales have also experienced a spike in purchases this month. Ammo.com reported a 68 percent increase in sales from mid-February to mid-March. That will probably continue to be the case over the next few months, as the world weathers this crisis. Some stores in-person and online are putting limits on the number of things you can buy, especially ammunition-wise.
Eventually, this time will pass and everyone will go back to their regular lives — hopefully safe and healthy. Many people are still going to walk away from this feeling better safe than sorry when it comes to owning guns and holding onto their Second Amendment rights.