Sports are still out, but, even if people aren’t out playing basketball and baseball right now, there is one sport they’re taking up in droves across the country: shooting.
People are buying up ammunition and firearms with a rapidity not seen in years.
For example, the sheriff of Los Angeles County, Alex Villanueva, while comparing gun stores to strip clubs and night clubs, ordered all gun stores be shut down across Los Angeles County, stating that only law enforcement personnel would be allowed to purchase weapons during the California’s “Safer at Home” order from Governor Gavin Newsom. Then he changed his mind, and allowed them to remain open.
In Florida, ammo sales have skyrocketed so rapidly that stores have had to start rationing. Sales have gone up 235-percent according to the Washington Examiner.
One shop in Tulsa, Oklahoma, stated that ammunition sales there have skyrocketed by more than 400-percent.
How are things closer to home, though?
Well – it depends.
Robert Strickland at Clinton Home Center said it has mostly been business as usual.
“People are just building and stocking up on projects mostly,” he said. “As far as the ammo goes, just a few boxes here and there, same as always. Nothing major. A lot of people are doing home maintenance stuff right now because they’ve got the time.”
Meanwhile, in Oak Ridge, sits S.E.T. Guns and Range, where Steve Smith says things have been hectic.
“Ammo sales have gone up very drastically,” he said. “Almost to the minute after the president issued the state of emergency, our door became a revolving door of people coming in to buy ammo, followed by gun purchases shortly after that.
“I immediately got on with my distributors to get what ammo I could get, and I know we weren’t the only ones doing it nationwide, so it just clogged up the pipeline. Everything’s been delayed. We still have ammo, it’s just been rationed. It’s nuts; I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Smith said that it was largely pistol ammo at first, but soon after, customers started just stocking up in general. It wasn’t just ammo, either, with many customers buying guns as well.
“Pistols sold most, followed by rifles, shotguns and defensive type things,” he said. “We’re just now starting to get our shelves stocked back up a little bit and we’ve got more shipments coming in. I did notice that probably about 75-percent of our gun sales were first-time purchasers, whereas 75-percent of our ammo sales were people who already had firearms.”
S.E.T. also offers a range and firearms instruction, and Smith said he’s taken down names and numbers from many purchasers so that they can be safe.
“I think a lot of folks were just prepared to be holed up a while,” he said.
It’s not just dedicated gun stores affected, either, with an unnamed representative from Shylock’s Pawn saying that store’s sales have gone up.
“Ammo sales are way up,” he said. “Gun sales are a little bit better than normal.”
When asked what kind of ammo people were buying, he said people have been stocking up on everything.
“Everybody’s buying the same amount of everything,” he said. “Just getting ready for everyone to come and steal their toilet paper.”
The source said that the majority of gun sales have been pistols, with little increase in rifle sales. The shop has moved more silver coins in the past two weeks, too, as a result of the economy.