Sales at Marion County gun shops up as people seek security amid pandemic

Sales at Marion County gun shops up as people seek security amid pandemic

Business has never been better for James Dean. Since the coronavirus pandemic began last March, the owner of Norton Sporting Goods in Waldo said that sales for firearms have "exploded." "When the first set of rules came into place from the governor around the end of March, we saw the increase and it’s been pretty steady ever since then," Dean said. The store also saw sales spike in June during the nationwide protests against police brutality, in November and December around the time of the presidential election and earlier this month after the Capitol riots. Dean said sales in 2020 went up 84% compared to 2019. "The issue right now is that manufacturers literally cannot get the resources to make product fast enough to supply the demand," he said. "Where I may normally stock 1,000 to 1,200 guns, I’ve got fewer than 100 guns in inventory right now due to the fact that people are buying everything I get, and I can’t get them in fast enough." Dean said he talks to manufacturers every day, with some of them already selling their production for the year. Gun shops across the country saw demand skyrocket as background checks hit a record high for 2020. According to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), 21 million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm over the past 12 months, topping 2019’s totals of 13.2 million by 60 percent. The 2020 total beat 2016’s record of 15.7 million background […]

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