Local Gun Stores Still Seeing Record Sales During Pandemic, Contentious Election Year
In March the coronavirus pandemic spurred record gun sales across the nation. That trend is continuing, but now gun store operators say fears of riots and the contentious election cycle are driving sales.
"It originally started with the pandemic," said Danielle Jaymes, general manager of Poway Weapons and Gear Range (PWG). "Then it went into, with a lot of the riots people got scared about that, and now with the elections coming up and more riots — we have been nonstop since March."
Normally during election cycles, gun stores see an increase in sales, but Jaymes said this is different. Right now they are having a hard time keeping products on shelves.
"Demand is the highest it’s ever been and we can't get the stuff in," Jaymes said.
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Many of PWG's recent firearm sales are to first-time gun buyers.
"We have seen a huge increase in first-time buyers," Jaymes said. "We’ve had to add a ton more classes to accommodate those first-time buyers."
At their indoor range, PWG has more than doubled their amount of firearm instructors to keep up with demand.
"We are very big on education," Jaymes said. "Our main focus is people being educated on their firearms to be confident, confident, confident."
Jaymes said many first-time gun owners are looking for handguns or shotguns. She added many buyers are confused about California's regulations; for one, guns cannot be picked up until ten days after purchase. Buyers must also pass a background check and a safety test.
Ammunition is also in short supply, with many popular calibers out of stock.