Gun sales are surging in many parts of the U.S. in response to the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, according to various reports.
Ammunition retailer Ammo.com has seen a 68 percent increase in transactions from the 11 days before February 23, to the period from February 23 to March 4. February 23 was the day Italy began ramping up measures to stem the spread of coronavirus, which has since infected over 24,700 Italian citizens.
Gun sales were up especially in the states of Washington, California, and New York, which have been hit hardest by the coronavirus, the Los Angeles Times reported Monday. Many sales were to first-time buyers.
“It’s not like an active panic, more a preoccupation with making sure everyone is adequately prepared, myself and family and friends,” first-time gun purchaser Anna Carrenas told the Times at Arcadia Firearm and Safety in Arcadia, Ca. “Better to be prepared and not need it than need it and not have it.”
Store owner David Liu said Sunday was the busiest day he’s ever seen.
“It’s everybody” buying, Liu said, adding that he was unable to reorder some products because major suppliers are out of stock. “It’s not only California, it’s the whole nation that’s cleaned out…. It’s like toilet paper.”
As of Monday the U.S. has confirmed over 3,500 cases of coronavirus, according to the New York Times. The greatest concentrations of the illness fall around Seattle, Wash., San Francisco, Ca., and New York City.