By the end of May, more than five million guns were sold in the U.S. as people began to fear the possibility of widespread unrest over the outbreak of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). Now, gun sales have spiked once again as rioting, protests and civil unrest over the death of George Floyd continue to spread across America and the rest of the world. Several gun stores across the country have already reported an increase in gun sales.
“We’re running out. Literally running out,” said Andy Chernoff, owner of Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale, Nassau County, New York. According to Chernoff, since the coronavirus pandemic began spreading through the country, their phones have been ringing nonstop, and the line has consistently wrapped itself around their building. After the riots began, his store experienced another spike in sales. Jimmy’s Sport Shop in nearby Mineola has seen a similar trend, especially among minorities looking to defend their property.
This spike is not limited to Nassau County, New York.
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Gun sales skyrocket across the country
In Clovis, California, PRK Arms has seen an increase in first-time buyers since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. General manager Elijah Smedley said it’s normal for the shop to see a line of people outside, and that many first-time gun buyers are choosing personal defense weapons. According to data gathered by ABC, PRK’s gun sales from February to March jumped by 69,000.
In Buckhead, Georgia, Angel Rambert, 26, bought her first pistol after witnessing how the AT&T store across from her apartment was ransacked. At the two nearby gun stores she visited, she was met with extremely long lines.
In St. Louis County, Missouri, where four police officers were shot and a former police captain was killed, locals have spent hours waiting in line at gun stores. According to reporters from KMOV, many of the first time buyers were purchasing weapons for personal protection and cost under $300.
Similar trends are seen in other states – in Alabama, gun stores are finding it difficult to continue resupplying their stocks of ammunition; in Arizona, one gun store owner said the rioting and looting have been good for business; and in Atlanta, Eric Wallace, owner of Adventure Outdoors, said that people are buying guns because they fear for their safety.
“Anytime there’s unrest, it seems like that’s when [a spike in gun and ammo sales] happens,” said Russell England, owner of Alabama Guns and Outdoors. (Related: Leftist tyrants increasingly shutting down gun shops amid coronavirus outbreak, leaving Americans vulnerable to chaos and riots if things turn ugly.)
Gun stocks rally thanks to civil unrest
Daniel O’Kelly, director of International Firearm Specialist Academy, a gun consulting company, said that it’s normal for gun sales to increase after natural disasters, mass shootings or political speeches that involve gun laws. He further stated that, if the unrest and uncertainty in the U.S. continue, it’s likely that gun sales will keep on surging.
While the current data on gun sales still does not reflect any increased purchases surrounding the death of George Floyd, it’s likely that, as soon as the data comes in, June will be another record-breaking month for gun stores nationwide.
In fact, this trend can already be seen in the stock market, where stocks of several prominent firearms companies soared on Monday following a weekend of rioting and civil unrest. Firearms companies Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. saw their stocks climb 28 percent and 12.5 percent, respectively. Axon Enterprises, a leading manufacturer of law enforcement products such as Tasers, saw their stocks increase by as much as 21 percent.
If the rioting and civil unrest continue, it’s very likely that thousands of Americans will become first-time gun owners – and gun distributors and manufacturers can also expect to profit from the chaos.