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Report: Ammunition sales up as coronavirus fears spread

Ammo. (Maxpexel/Released)
March 07, 2020

Sales of ammunition are up recently due to in part by the public panic caused by the spread of the deadly coronavirus, according to a Friday press release from ammunition retailer, Ammo.com.

Ammo.com has seen a significant increase in sales since Feb. 23, which the company says corresponds with the surge in public concern regarding the coronavirus, also called COVID-19. Since Feb. 23, interest in the coronavirus has quadrupled in the United States, according to Google Trends.

Sales at Ammo.com directly correlate to the rise in coronavirus interest. Ammo.com saw a 68 percent rise in transactions from the 11 days after Feb. 23, compared to the 11 days before that date.

“We know certain things impact ammo sales, mostly political events or economic instability when people feel their rights may end up infringed, but this is our first experience with a virus leading to such a boost in sales,” said Alex Horsman, the marketing manager at Ammo.com. “But it makes sense. A lot of our customers like to be prepared. And for many of them, it’s not just facemasks and TheraFlu. It’s knowing that no matter what happens, they can keep themselves and their families safe.”

Previous reports have also shown that Democratic lawmakers’ strict gun control legislative proposals have also helped gun sales.

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One store in Virginia saw its sales rise nearly 200 percent since the Democratic-controlled legislature almost passed one of the most significant pieces of gun-control legislation.

The owner of an Alexandria, Va.-based gun store called SpecDive Tactical, Jerry Rap, said the store’s dramatic rise in sales of guns, magazines, and ammunition was a response to the Democratic’s winning both chambers of the legislature and the governorship. Rapp has also said customer’s fear for their privacy while purchasing the munitions, resulting in more cash sales.

“The only other person that was a better salesman right now is when we had President [Barack] Obama,” Rapp said. “Every time [Obama] turned around he was going to ban something or make something illegal. But even that isn’t even close to the amount of sales we’re selling right now of magazines, of guns, of every kind of gun from pistol, rifle, shotguns, to AR platforms.”

The Virginia state legislature almost passed a bill that would have banned “Assault” weapons and magazines that can hold more than 12 rounds, as well as would have passed controversial “red flag” laws which allow local law enforcement to confiscate otherwise legal gun owners’ weapons without a warrant if they receive a complaint that the individual is “unstable.”

The bill passed the Virginia House by a narrow 51-48 vote on Feb, 11, but was struck down by the Senate the next week. Although the Virginia Senate is controlled by the Democratic Party, even a couple of the Democrats thought the bill went too far on infringing a citizen’s Second Amendment rights.