Gun sales throughout the country have surged as the coronavirus outbreak grips the U.S.
Americans are flocking to gun stores and waiting in long lines as they worry about what’s to come in the next few months with society all but shut down, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday.
Gun sales in the states most affected by the virus thus far, such as California, New York and Washington, are particularly on the rise. Consumers reportedly include both first-time buyers worried about the state of society and previous gun owners who are unsettled by the prospect of the government limiting gun purchases during the national emergency.
The increase in gun sales reportedly began several weeks ago, in states including Washington and California, where large numbers of Asian Americans purchased guns out of fear of the anti-Asian bias that has spiked amid the pandemic.
But states with high numbers of coronavirus aren’t the only ones where residents are lining up for ammunition, with Oklahoma, Alabama, Wisconsin and Delaware experiencing increased sales and high demand, according to various reports.
Ammo.com reported a 309 percent increase in revenue between Feb. 23 and March 15, when compared to the previous 22 days.
"We know certain things impact ammo sales, mostly political events or economic instability when people feel their rights may end up infringed, but this is our first experience with a virus leading to such a boost in sales," said Alex Horsman, the marketing manager at Ammo.com, in a statement obtained by USA Today.
Gun control advocates have warned that the many nationwide school closures will lead to children and teenagers being in homes with unsecured guns.
“We’ve seen increases in firearm purchases in response to uncertain or worrisome current events in the past," Brady Campaign President Kris Brown said in a statement to The Hill. "Unfortunately, we know that not only do more guns not make you safer, but that the opposite is true."
"Unsafe storage practices correlate to unintentional shootings in the home, what we call ‘Family Fire,'" Brown added.
According to the Brady Campaign, approximately eight children and teens die or are injured in these "family fire" shootings each day.
President TrumpDonald TrumpJudge rules Alaska governor unlawfully fired lawyer who criticized Trump Giuliani led fake electors plot: CNN Giuliani associate sentenced to a year in prison in campaign finance case MORE's son Donald Trump Jr. weighed in on the trend, saying his Democratic friends are asking for his advice.
"You don't need it, till you need it," he tweeted.
The irony of it all is that it’s my Democrat friends reaching out to me now asking me which guns they should buy just in case... in particular which ARs.— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 14, 2020
I guess they’re ok with the 2A now???
You don’t need it, till you need it. https://t.co/WaCQqWqpv3
Americans have already crammed into grocery stores as they stock up for "social distancing" practices to prevent the spread of the virus. Products like toilet paper and hand sanitizer have run low or out.
The virus, which has led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend that people not hold events of more than 50 for the next eight weeks, has infected more than 3,800 people in the country, leading to 69 deaths and 12 recoveries, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
—Updated on March 17 at 8:54 a.m.