Many gun buyers seem worried that the exponential spread of covid-19 will lead to a season of hard-to-find essentials — of illness-related disruptions in the grocery supply chain — with angry have-nots out to steal from the haves. Perhaps, more likely, Americans will weather the crisis peacefully. In any event, many appear to think it is better to be safe than sorry.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System said it responded to inquiries on 2.8 million prospective gun-buyers last month — the third-highest monthly total since the system was created in 1998, and up from 2 million in February last year. With crowds nearly wiping out firearm and ammo inventories at some stores since President Trump’s March 13 declaration of a national coronavirus emergency, this month’s gun-buyer total could be even larger.
According to data from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, handgun purchase permits in the first two weeks of of March totaled 487. That’s a 53% increase from a similar time span in January, data show
As for February, the National Instant Background Check System saw over 2.8 million checks done, over a 30% increase compared to the same month last year. Within North Carolina, February saw over 52,000 checks — a 6% increase from last year.
The guns meant for competitions, hunting and collectors are not in demand, Hyatt said. It’s the rifles, shotguns and handguns that are flying off the shelves.