Coronavirus pandemic: Firearms fly off shelves during March, second-highest record in U.S. history

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. — Americans bought about 2 million firearms in March, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data. It is the second-highest record of gun sales in U.S. history.

In March, the Federal Bureau of Investigation processed a record 3.7 million background checks for firearms, which is more than any month previously.

“I’ve seen Barack Obama’s first election, the second election, Sandy Hook, on and on and on … . This one is different,” said Marty Borum, owner of Black Creek Armory & Ammo Depot in Clay County.

In the past, Americans have raced to the gun store when the government discusses stricter regulation, a mass shooting occurs, crime increases, or a terrorist attack. However, some experts believe the fear of the unknown with COVID-19 is causing more Americans to seek protection with firearms.

“Every time there’s a calamity, they beat feet to the gun store and arm themselves, more and more and more,” Borum said.

Borum’s store does some retail sales but mostly sells firearms online. He said the entire industry is trying to restock and keep up with demand.

“The industry is seeing a record number of, yeah, 300 to 500% increase,” Borum said. “It started in the retail stores and when those sell out, it shifts to stores like mine, online. Yeah, quite an increase.”

Some of the community has raised concern over such an increase in gun sales.

Action News Jax asked the city of Jacksonville why gun stores as considered an “essential business” under its safer-at-home executive order. A spokesperson replied, “Private outdoor recreational facilities that can comply with orders on social distancing guidelines are permitted.”

Comments on this article