While Barack Obama was president, gun sales across the nation surged, largely because of citizen concerns over gun-control measures.
But sales back then were nothing compared to the more than 17 million weapons purchased already this year. The demand has emptied the shelves of some gun stores and ammunition is scarce.
Florida State University sociologist Benjamin Dowd-Arrow said in a Los Angeles Times report it was because of several factors in addition to worries about gun control.
He cited the COVID-19 pandemic, the riots in response to the death of George Floyd and the presidential election season.
Joe Biden, the Democrats’ pick for president, has proposed collecting billions of dollars from gun owners in taxes on the weapons they already own. And some of his advisers have threatened what amounts to gun confiscation, calling it “mandatory buy-backs.”
ZeroHedge notes the shortage of weapons and ammunition.
“Americans are panic searching again. This time it’s not where to buy toilet paper online, but instead learning more about reloading ammunition as the virus pandemic and social unrest has sparked shortages of ammo and guns,” the report said.
“Ever since the first round of virus lockdowns that began in March, ammunition prices have surged because of unprecedented demand. Some of the hardest bullets to find this past summer, that is, if one wanted to purchase bulk, as we noted in April and August … was 9mm,” the report said.
Are Americans concerned with more than just gun-control issues?
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“And, of course, a shortage and skyrocketing costs for factory-loaded ammunition forced many Americans to investigate alternative options in panic hoarding bullets.”
The report notes that requests for information about reloading ammunition for 9 mm weapons tripled over the past few months.
“Reloading, also called handloading, is the process of making firearm cartridges by manually assembling the individual components rather than purchasing factory-loaded ammunition. Reloading can easily be done at home,” the report said.
The steps include making sure the brass is cleaned and ready to be loaded, then adding a primer, the powder, the bullet and crimping.
The report said a number of online videos offer practical instructions.
The L.A. Times report said firearms stores around the country are finding themselves “with largely barren shelves and gun racks that have been cleaned out.”
The Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting company said the nearly 17 million sold so far in 2020 is more than in any other single year.
“The sales appear to be driven by fears of societal instability, and gun shop owners and trade groups say the customer base is much broader, including large numbers of Black Americans, women and people who identify as politically liberal,” the report explained.
“People are uneasy,” said Jay Winton, who works at a gun store in Santa Fe, New Mexico. “They’re concerned about the long-term path of the country. And just like they were hoarding toilet paper, they’re hoarding guns and ammo.”
“We’ve created a powder keg of people who are afraid for different reasons,” Dowd-Arrow said. “When people feel that they can become victimized, they want to protect themselves.”