Gunnies gun store in Orem, Utah has seen lines that stretch around the building this month as customers wait for hours for the chance to purchase ammunition or a firearm.
As chaos and uncertainty reign over the highly contentious 2020 elections, more and more people are looking to arm themselves. Bearing Arms has the incredible report.
One Gunnies salesman called the situation a “perfect storm for gun supply.”
From a source in Burbank, California: Another gun store with a long line outside amid the Coronavirus outbreaks. pic.twitter.com/1zBBWErWPu
— Julio Rosas (@Julio_Rosas11) March 15, 2020
Ammo Flying Off The Shelf At Gun Stores
A store employee admits they can’t keep ammo on the shelf – something most gun owners reading this will no doubt have experienced in recent months.
“This case has 1,000 rounds,” said a worker. “I have gone through 10 boxes already in two hours.”
There is a limit on how much customers can buy because of hoarding in the past.
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“On this .223-5.56 that we got in that everybody’s here for today, we’re allowing 200 rounds per customer,” said salesman Chris Hansen.
What happened this month at Gunnies and other gun stores is similar to how March looked, when the stay-at-home orders and business closings were first implemented.
The Casper Star-Tribune notes the severity of the ammo shortage – which lasted much of 2020 and continues today:
But the ammo shortage, which began with fears of COVID-19, continued through a summer of demonstrations and a fall presidential election, is still frustrating customers and ammo sellers alike.
Rocky Mountain Discount Sports manager Madison Pendley said while she had seen some improvement by December, ammo for common self-defense weapons in particular was still both hard to acquire and to keep on the shelves.
Last December, the National Rifle Association’s Magazine, American Rifleman, covered “The Great Ammo Shortage of 2020.”
“…this shortage, as many readers can attest, traces back at least to spring when COVID mania shocked the country and has since intensified under an unprecedented chain of cultural phenomena. Many gun owners feel that the only way to ensure they have ammo when they need it is to buy in bigger-than-normal quantities, and the result is hoarding.”
— JOSLYN DAVIS (@JoslynDavis) March 16, 2020
Gun Store Owner: ‘When It Comes To Firearms Or Ammunition… It’s In, It’s Out, That Fast’
Owner Floyd McMillin of The Gun Garage in Topeka said, “Usually it ain’t here more than two to three days, it doesn’t matter what it is,” McMillin said. “When it comes to firearms or ammunition… it’s in, it’s out, that fast.”
Gene Smith is the co-owner of Hoover Tactical Firearms in Birmingham, Alabama. Smith said January saw a doubling in sales compared to what they’ve seen over the past year.
My daughter just sent me a pic of a very very long line of people waiting to go in a gun store in IL. What is driving this behavior?
— Busted Flush (@Mikebattuello) March 20, 2020
‘People Are Reacting To Their Fears And Concerns’
Smith also relayed that many of these people were first time gun owners.
“People are reacting to their fears and concerns,” Smith said. “People are getting out and buying. Some of them have never owned a gun in their life and now they seem almost anxious to have one in their home, just in case.”
Smith said that after the Capitol Hill riot in Washington, DC guns sales would likely continue to be strong.
Californians are waking up to how quickly their rights can be taken away…and the one thing that can protect them against a tyrannical government.
I've noticed the lines at the gun store are getting really, really long. pic.twitter.com/S4Z3wUE7WM
— Errol Webber For CA Governor (@ErrolWebber) April 30, 2020
Don’t Expect Gun Sales To Slow Anytime Soon
“People are worried,” Smith said. “They are not only worried about the government, but they are also worried about crime in their community.”
Most of the gun owners also agreed a slowdown in sales would not happen anytime soon.
I stood in a long line with many people of color to exercise our Constitutional rights. It wasn't a BLM rally. We were waiting for the gun store to open.
— Dana McCue (@DanaMcCue2) June 29, 2020
The story appears to be the same everywhere. WXYZ reports that there are huge lines in Redford Township, Michigan.
ABC News points out that much of the demand is driven by fear of a Biden administration – given his promise to enact a slew of gun control legislation.
This week, Biden “vowed” to “defeat the NRA,” and his campaign website lists gun control items like banning “assault weapons” and “high capacity” magazines.
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