America Armed: Gun Sales Surge Post-Election

The Christmas shopping season is just heating up for most retailers and industries, but in the firearms industry Christmas came way early this in March. Starting with the coronavirus pandemic, then continuing through the social unrest of the summer, 2020 has been a banner year for gun sales. Total FBI firearms background checks---seen as a measure of sales---are up 41 percent so far this year compared to last. In Texas, background checks are up 62 percent year-over-year.

Mike Clark, president of Collectors Firearms in Houston, says they've seen no letup in business this year. "It's really quite a bit more than we would have normally expected, and yes they are buying ammunition, buying guns, buying accessory items and so it's pretty brisk," he tells KTRH.

The surge in gun business coincides with an ongoing shortage of ammunition, brought on partially by high demand but also pandemic-induced issues with the supply and production line. "We get a little shipment here, and a little shipment there (of ammo)," says Clark. "And most everybody who has any of it is rationing whatever the hard-to-get calibers are."

While Christmas is normally the season when gun sellers see sales pick up, this year's presidential election---and the prospect of Democrats taking the White House---provided an even bigger boost to the already-strong numbers. In fact, firearms background checks nationally rose from 3.3 million in October to 3.6 million in November. "It's a reaction to Joe Biden and particularly Kamala Harris, both of whom have said that they don't like guns," says Clark. "And Harris said if she somehow became president, she would issue a decree that people had to turn their guns in."

"I don't know what's going to happen and nobody else does either, but people certainly are buying a lot of guns, I guess just on the chance that they might not be able to get some later on."

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