By Ralph Dickerson
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the shores of the United States, people began to panic and purchase hand sanitizers, cleaners and toilet paper. These products started to fly off the shelves, and have been in short supply since. In an interesting note, especially here in Kentucky, people began to purchase firearms and ammunition.
“We did see a bit of a run,” Aces Gun owner Monty Quinn said. “I think it is going to taper off.”
Quinn said most of it was just panic buying, and people cleaned him out of stock. He said 9mms, 40-caliber and .223-caliber are the most popular items being purchased. Quinn said he tried to reorder these items, but they went immediately to back order status, and he does not know when he might receive these items.
“There’s less available now because of the coronavirus scare,” Quinn said. “It’s awful sad whenever you move some product and you feel like you’ve got pretty good sales going and you can’t get back what people want, so that just sort of slows things back down again, you know.”
The run on guns and ammunition created a backlog on the government background check website. Normally, a three-day waiting period exists on firearm purchases, but with the massive run of people buying guns, the system is being overwhelmed. By law, after three days a gun can be transferred, but with the backlog created by the panic buying, the government is saying wait longer to transfer.
“They have so many calls coming in that people are getting delayed on background checks,” Quinn said.
Quinn said this is not the first time a national situation created a run on guns and ammunition. Several years ago the same thing happened. After the panic buying, gun owners had large numbers of firearms, and sales slowed. Now, gun sales are up.
“Whether it’s a short-lived thing or not, I don’t know what to tell you,” Quinn said. “It does help us move product.
Quinn said fear of the unknown is driving almost everything right now, and people need to take a deep breath and calm their nerves. He said the pandemic slowing should also help calm people.
“Hopefully what we all need, what our country needs, we need to sort of get a handle on things and hopefully that the numbers start going down in infections instead of ramping up,” Quinn said. “I don’t think we’re through this thing yet.”