Coronavirus pandemic spurs spike in gun and ammo sales

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 4:33 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Gun dealers around the country and here in the Carolinas say they’ve seen a dramatic increase in sales of guns and ammunition in the last few days, and they say the uncertainty that comes with the coronavirus pandemic may be the reason.

Customers at Pistol Pop’s in Salisbury said on Thursday afternoon that they aren’t surprised that gun sales are up.

“I know it’s going up," said Sam Stanton. “I went online Monday to buy a gun and at the time they were just saying it would be normal shipping, and then I went back yesterday and they’re saying 14-21 days shipping.”

“The gun culture in the US in general and the fear that people are having with the coronavirus, people are panicking," said Mark Proper.

It’s happening across the country. A message on the 1-800 order number for said “unusually high volume” and “wait times will be longer than usual.”

Larry Hyatt of Hyatt’s Guns in Charlotte said that there was a sharp spike in sales in his shop on Tuesday, and it was same story at Pistol Pop’s.

“Tuesday morning when we opened up it immediately became busy," said store owner Tim Ervin. "We sold probably twice as many guns as normal in a day’s time, and a lot more ammo, probably four times the ammo that we do in a day.”

Ervin says it’s a theme he’s seen in years past with events such as election years, or after an incident that might lead to more restrictions on gun ownership.

“Anytime there’s any turmoil going on it tends to spur the sales of guns and ammo," Ervin added.

Shoppers here said they don’t expect anything to happen, just want to have the protection.

“I think it’s probably best to be prepared," Proper added.

Captain John Sifford of the Rowan Sheriff’s Office confirmed that this has been a “busier than usual” week for app;lications for gun permits.

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