Gun sales soar amid social unrest, pandemic

Gun sales soar amid social unrest, pandemic

Ed Piestrak holds a Glock 17 9mm at his gun shop on Alden Mountain Road in Newport Twp. Piestrak said he is seeing more first-time gun buyers, including women. Ed Piestrak talks with a reporter at his gun shop on Alden Mountain Road. Mark Moran cv101120piestrakp2 NEWPORT TWP. — There was a time women were rare customers at Piestrak’s Gun Shop. “In the old days — I’ve been here almost 48 years — we used to sell one lady a month, maybe, a gun,” owner Edward Piestrak said. “Now, it’s almost one-third of our sales are women.” The increase is not simply a change in the percentages, but rather a reflection of an enormous surge in gun sales across the state and nation. According to FBI data, federal background checks for firearms soared from 2.3 million in June 2019 to 3.9 million this June — an increase of 70%. In Pennsylvania, the number of background checks for gun sales from June through September was up nearly 100% over the same period last year. And at Piestrak’s shop, at least, most of the women and even the men buying guns these days are first-time buyers, he said. “A lot of it’s to do with the rioting and all. People are watching TV,” Piestrak said. “They say they’re scared in their own house.” Firearms sales, which increased during the spring when the COVID-19 pandemic hit Pennsylvania, continued to soar over the summer as social unrest and political uncertainty persisted. The numbers […]

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