Report: Gun sales soar in Ohio during coronavirus pandemic
Personal safety concerns triggered by the pandemic have made nationwide gun sales explode, and Cleveland.com is reporting that many gun dealers in Northeast Ohio say business is so busy they’ve had trouble maintaining inventory.
From the article:
At Summit Armory in Bath Township, owner Tim Ostrander reports business in his four-year-old store has hit “record levels.” Not even five months into 2020, his sales have surpassed everything he sold in 2019. Customers seeking to defend their homes have driven 95 percent of the increased sales, he says.
“People want to feel safe in their houses,” Ostrander says.
At L.E.P.D. Firearms Range and Training Facility in Columbus, co-owner Eric Delbert says there was an “apocalyptic" rise in sales during March, that fell off during April. During one week in mid-March, the store set new sales records each day, and Delbert reports its shelves were so bare “it looked like we had either been robbed or were going out of business.”
He estimates that around 70 percent of those customers were first-time guy buyers concerned about personal security and potential crime as some jails began releasing prisoners out of fear that COVID-19 would spread in their facilities.
According to the article, Ohio gun dealers conducted Ohio gun dealers ran 114,086 background checks in March and 68,812 background checks in April. According to FBI records, in 2019, Ohio gun dealers ran a far lower level of checks in those months - 70,826 checks in March and 53,819 in April.
The article goes on to note that gun control groups are up in arms (pardon the pun), citing statements from Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action warning the rise in gun sales caused by the pandemic could lead to a rise in accidents or gun violence.
Again, from the article:
Buckeye Firearms Association Executive Director Dean Rieck disputed the claim that the gun sale surge would contribute to violence. He said increased levels of depression, suicide and domestic violence are likely during the pandemic as people’s routines are disrupted, they are forced to stay home and they become stressed about jobs and income, but that guns wouldn’t cause violence.
“Gun sales always go up in times of crisis or concern, regardless of what the specific crisis or concern may be,” said Rieck. “So it’s no surprise that we’re seeing a spike in sales during the coronavirus situation.”
He noted that nationwide, gun sales spiked by more than 20 percent after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, and said they also tend to rise after natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, as well as mass shootings, as gun purchasers seek to arm themselves before any potential crackdowns on firearms ownership.
“People tend to take action when something dramatic happens and shakes them out of their complacency,” said Rieck. “They focus on their health after a heart attack and fix holes in the roof after a heavy rain, for example, but not before. It’s the same with personal security. When the media is telling people that the economy will shut down and we may enter a recession or depression, they start to think about basic necessities, such as food, medicine, toilet paper, and means of self-defense.”
Gun control extremists have a long history of attempting to use any crisis of the moment to seek to further their agenda. But their predictions of a new pandemic of violence or accidents with guns just don't have a basis in reality. According to the latest data from the National Safety Council’s recently-released Injury Facts Report 2018, unintentional firearm fatalities reached their lowest level ever, even as the number of firearms in American hands reaches higher and higher.
During economic shutdown orders in many states, many state governments, as well as the Department of Homeland Security declared that gun stores are part of America’s essential infrastructure during emergencies.
Nevertheless, actions by local anti-gun mayors in various parts of the country over the past two months prove that Second Amendment-supporters must be eternally vigilant. Various local emergency orders attempted to claim that mayors had the power to close gun stores, ban the sale and transportation of firearms, or, in at least one city, to ban open carry.
Never in our lifetime have we seen this type of government restriction on the U.S. population. And Americans are expressing what they feel about it quite loudly - with their feet and with their wallets.
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.