COVID-19 Causes Firearms and Ammunition Shortage
Written by: mcandy43
With the current COVID-19 pandemic actively ongoing, stores around the world are struggling to keep with high demands. Food, toilet paper, and other products are in high demand. However, one area that’s going largely unnoticed is firearms.
Over the past week, gun stores around the country have experienced long lines and a significant depletion of their stores. Customers concerned with the future are turning to their Second Amendment rights to keep up with self protection.
Not only did stores see this change, background checks through the FBI system saw a 34% increase in February. Even at the start of the crisis, people wanted to be prepared. Almost three million were performed in February alone. Back in January, news of the virus in Wuhan, China began spreading around the world. Even during that month, checks saw a 25% increase according to the most recent data.
Growing Concerns of Selling Out
Although the growing appeal may bring some people to appreciate self-protection, it’s also been a cause for concern. The concern primarily focuses on whether the supply is adequate to meet the growing demand. After all, COVID-19 shows no signs of stopping and the percentage of people buying firearms and ammunition is anticipated to increase as well. Firearm retailers as well as manufacturers admit to not being prepared to meet this surge in buying. Both short and long-term increased demand will put a strain on the industry.
What does this look like for the average gun owner? Anticipate the same experience you’ve had when shopping for food and common toiletries. It’s likely that guns and ammunition will be mostly absent from dealer shelves in the coming weeks. If the manufacturers of these products have to keep their workers at home, there will be an even greater impact. The end result will be that the prices of both items will rise significantly. There is not currently a monitoring or recording system set up to watch prices and scarcity.
News outlets who took note of this phenomenon interviewed multiple gun store owners and sellers across the nation. Sellers consistently noted that they had experienced a 30-400% spice in firearm sales when compared to their normal sales this time of year. In addition to increased sales of these items, there has also been more requests for body armor in some areas.
First-Time Gun Buyers
Events such as a pandemic often cause people to consider home and personal safety in a new light. For this past month, more people are becoming gun owners for the first time. With the shortages and panic, people anticipate that crime is also going to be on the rise. After all, when food and basic supplies start to run out, the average person doesn’t want to be a victim of a break-in and not be prepared for self-defense.
Additionally, there is also a concern that in the coming months, there will be fewer officials prepared to deal with any crime sprees. In New York, NYPD officers have been diagnosed with the illness and more are likely to come. Unlike other employees, public employee such as the police and fire department have to be present in the community and cannot self-quarantine to perform their jobs effectively. The trickle-down effect has led many to consider whether these officers will be able to handle any waves of crime that may occur.
Firearm Store Responses
This increased sales has led many sellers to change the way that they do business. For example, some stores have simply closed up shop. Once they’ve run out of inventory and have delays getting in new shipments, there’s really no point in staying in business. This has led many stores to simply close their doors until they can offer inventory once again.
Stores that do still carry some supply of firearms and ammunition have tried to limit and ration what they have. Fore example, a typically quiet gun store was bogged down and experienced unprecedented lines of customers that snaked around the block. Although they were still open for business, the store was also concerned about this large group of people spreading COVID-19. This store and many of them limit how many people can be in the building at any one time. While prudent, it’s caused hours of waiting time for many gun owners and buyers today.
What’s Being Sold?
Although people are often left scrambling to purchase what’s left, the most popular firearm to purchase today is a self-defense handgun. The modern manufacturing today allows companies that produce guns to reduce its proportions. Instead of a bulky weapon, the average handgun can be a compact structure while still allowing for magazine capacity. The average customer who can afford the price has been purchasing compact and full-size handguns that come with a red dot sight. This type of gun is deal for people who may be nearsighted or have impaired vision.
The more knowledgeable gun owners who already carry firearms are turning to more sophisticated choices. This type of buyer is more focused on purchasing rifles although this is a relatively small group. The highest overall requests appear to be for ammunition. Obviously, this is an essential part of using a gun effectively. With a concern for running out of ammunition or no longer being able to purchase it, people are not taking any chances. They’re stocking up, and even going to multiple stores in order to get more at each site.
The Future for Firearms and Ammunition Supply and Ownership
No one knows what the next few months holds but gun owners are gearing up to be prepared. Officials have cautioned Americans against panic buying weapons. Although it may be prudent to have a self-defense strategy ready, avoiding panic is the key to making smart choices when it comes to gun ownership and purchasing. However, for the average person who is interested in home defense, now is the time to act. Decreased manufacturing will lead to a shortage in gun and ammunition supply. Smart owners will be prepared if there are any future problems.