Coverage Intensifies In News Media

Major news outlets have also reported on the recent surge in firearms and ammunition buying. They’ve generated headlines like “It’s not just toilet paper: People line up to buy guns, ammo over coronavirus concerns” (USA Today) and “For Some Buyers With Virus Fears, the Priority Isn’t Toilet Paper. It’s Guns.” (The New York Times).

First-time gun buyers were quoted in both articles, citing potential public safety concerns as a primary motivation for buying. There have also been reports of a rise in firearms ownership among Asian Americans, who have been targeted in hate crimes in response to the virus that was first detected in Wuhan, China, late last year.

There are certainly more questions than answers at this point, especially as the fear of contamination and social distancing may threaten in-store traffic. However, in the short term, this buying surge equates to increased profits for dealers. Once things are “back to normal” — hopefully sooner than later — dealers will have an entirely new population of customers to reengage through safety classes, self-defense seminars and other outreach events.