Background checks for gun sales skyrocket amid pandemic and riots

Local

PAINTED POST, N.Y. (WETM) – Background checks to buy guns are at a record high for the month of June hitting 3.9 million checks across the nation according to data released by the F.B.I. on Wednesday.

That same trend is seen here in local gun shops in the Southern Tier. Bullseye Shooter’s Supply’s owner, Brian Jones, says usually summer is slower for gun sales.

“We’re usually our busiest months, starting with hunting season,” said Jones. “From October through April a very busy month, and then it kind of slows down to the summer months.”

However, they’ve done 500 background checks since the beginning of 2020.

“Definitely I can say our business through the summer months so far has definitely been probably double what we would be on a normal basis,” stated Jones.

Not only is this store seeing an increase in gun sales, another local company is also noticing more new gun buyers. Owner of Pugh Self-Protection & Combatives, Zach Pugh, says he’s observing this trend.

“We have seen quite a few first-time gun buyers either calling us or coming to us asking what they should buy or with the request,” said Pugh.

Both owners of companies believe there are several reasons for the increase in gun sales recently.

“With all these riots going on and even before the riots started COVID-19,” expressed Jones. “I think people were scared. There’s going to be home invasions and stuff. So it drove them to feel that they had to be able to protect themselves.”

“A lot of it is to do with defunding the police, you know to tell people they don’t want the police there,” stated Pugh. “And I think that people realize that if there is no police they’re going to take matters into their own hands.”

Jones also said it’s hard to keep shelves stocked since manufacturers are also trying to keep up with demand.

“Because of the high demand, getting product to keep the store shelves filled it becomes very difficult,” said Jones.

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