Many gun shop owners have said they have never seen anything like this. It’s unbelievable the demand for firearms as well as supplies for ammo at gun shops since this Coronavirus pandemic. Due to the rise in demand, many gun shops are rationing ammo in order to fill customers’ orders. One shop owner is limiting 9-millimeter ammo, which is the most common form of ammunition. He’s only allowing 2 boxes of 50 rounds per customer.
A gun shop in Halethorpe, Maryland sold out of products due to a huge rise of customers visiting the store as well as 300 to 400 calls on a daily basis all due to the Coronavirus pandemic. They are out of shotguns and ammunition as well as other handgun ammunition. The governor of Maryland ordered the shutdown of all nonessential businesses with the exception of gun stores.
Actually, it’s not uncommon for a rise in ammo and gun sales when there seems to be a threat to the community. Mass shootings spark an increase in the demand for weapons due to new, more restrictive gun laws that have risen in the aftermath. The rise in background checks has hit over 953,613 inquiries since the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school shooting which killed 26 people, most of them being children.
Demand is on the rise for fear of mass hysteria caused by Coronavirus and the country’s drop in emergency status. Strangely, there has been a rise in apocalyptic television shows including “The Walking Dead” along with the government’s inability to prepare for the pandemic they knew was on the way. Most Americans are self-quarantining and developing a “bunker” state of mind, hoarding food, and firearms.
Between February 21, to March 1, 2020, background checks on firearms have risen to 797,231 which is the third-highest level since 1998. Many gun store owners are experiencing a much higher demand than they have ever witnessed. They are also seeing first-time gun sales in their stores. These are people who have been anti-guns their entire lives but are now making purchases. One customer, whose wife was against buying a gun, is now all for it as a defensive measure.
A gun shop in Alabama sold 2-months worth of ammo in just one week. The owner said he has seen many first-time gun owners as of late. People are afraid that if the police are unable to protect them due to the virus, they need to be prepared. The owner added there has been a rise in Asian-Americans who are afraid they will be blamed for the virus.
The increase in sales has sent gun stocks higher will the rest of the market is practically flat. Vista Outdoor, which is the parent of may ammo companies including Federal Ammunition, has seen an increase in the stock market by 8% while the S&P 500 is down by 25%. Smith & Wesson’s subsidiary American Outdoor Brands was down 13% this year but has gained 3% over the past week.
The online retailer Widener’s Reloading & Shooting Supply told American Rifleman they’ve seen an almost 100% increase in visitors to their website in February. Many families are preparing for a disaster including a 390% increase in Connecticut and a 241% increase in New Jersey. This is in accordance with stats provided by the American Rifleman.
Light at the under of the tunnel has not been seen as of yet but hopefully, there will be, once the Coronavirus is brought under control and more and more research will come up with a vaccine so all Americans can finally get back to a normal life.