Women taking aim: Gun sales surge in Florida

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — For months of this pandemic, toilet paper and bleach were hard to find items in our stores. Now, there’s something else in high demand: guns and gun ammunition.

Americans are breaking gun sale records right now. Women account for more than 40% of those sales. African Americans make up the majority.

Gun sales are projected to beat 2016′s record.

Gun experts attribute it to more women wanting protection in the pandemic, fear of gun laws changing, and a spike in riots and protests this election year.

I went to an outdoor range with Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carlson. It took Lopez’s full attention mentally and physically.

Carson stressed that even though I’ve owned my weapon for years, there’s a great responsibility to myself, my family and my community to know my gun and know my threat level.

“The only time is only in self-defense if you are in fear that someone is going to really hurt you, the word imminent is right now,” Carson said.

Carson suggests before buying a gun or shortly after, first get basic knowledge about your weapon.

Roger Carlson is a former undersheriff and marine. He also owns Jacksonville Gun Runners. It’s a concealed license and training program. He teaches all over the city of Jacksonville, and he tells me more and more of his clients are women.

One of his first questions to those new there is, “why do you want a gun?”

“If you don’t know these concepts, you’re just opening the door to incarceration or absolute heartache,” he said.

“We don’t teach people how to kill people, but how to defend themselves, if they ever have to shoot, heaven forbid -- how to shoot to live.”

Both Carlson and Carson have a few words for anyone buying a gun: Watch your anger. Know your surroundings and use loud, demanding verbal commands as a first defense. Fire your weapon only if you believe your life is in danger.