Gun sales rising in 2020, especially among first time buyers

Since March, sales at one gun shop have been higher than ever.
Updated: Jun. 11, 2020 at 8:38 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Empty cases and hooks with no displays have become Jeff Anderson’s new reality.

“I fill the shelves, and I can’t get them out here no quicker than that, and they’re gone," Anderson said.

Since March, sales at Anderson’s shop, Gunz Inc., have been higher than ever. Anderson told WAVE 3 News a majority of the purchases are coming from first-time gun buyers.

“Sixty to seventy percent are first time [buyers]," Anderson said. "A lot of them tell us without asking that they’re scared.”

Anderson said they’re scared of what 2020 has already brought with it, and what may come down the road.

That trend is following the same one nationwide, according to National Shooting Sports Foundation Public Affairs Director Mark Oliva.

“We’re continuing to see record months and elevated buying across the board,” Oliva said.

The NSSF works with gun distributors, ranges and retailers across the country. they also conduct research on who’s buying firearms. Oliva told WAVE 3 News NSSF research shows about 40 percent of Americans who’ve purchased guns in 2020 were first-time buyers.

“People are seriously taking stock of how they’re going to be able to provide for the safety of their own families," Oliva said. "So they’re buying firearms to make sure they can protect themselves and protect their families.”

As more people attempt to buy firearms, gun retailers are performing more background checks.

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Instant Background Check System, firearm background checks soared over 3 million in March and May of 2020. According to the data, the last time the FBI recorded 3 million checks was December of 2015.

Anderson told WAVE 3 News he doesn’t see the demand slowing in the coming months, especially considering a presidential election is around the corner. He said as long as demand is there, he will fight to upkeep the supply.

“The wholesalers don’t even have what I need to get in here to fill the shelves," Anderson said. "That’s what’s scary. And people are still coming in still wanting to buy guns.”

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