Firearms Retailers Deemed Essential
Dr. John Woods 04.06.20
This COVID-19 event with all the ramifications of shutdowns, shelter-in-place orders, and even statewide lockdowns has a lot of people and businesses confused. While we are still able to access food suppliers, pharmacies, medical clinics and such, there are other businesses that appear to be in gray areas. You have to read the federal and individual state orders carefully to be certain what businesses are open and those that are not.
The Federal Division of Homeland Security just passed judgment on the operations of retail firearms’ businesses, gun ranges, and similar operations. These businesses have been approved as essential and therefore should be open. Hours may have changed or operations modified so it would be prudent to double check by phone or text before travel to any gun shop.
Reports circulating within the industry say that one in every 20 households are now buying firearms and ammunition. On March 20th of this year there were over 210,000 ATF background checks run on gun purchases. That is more than any other single day on record. In times of fear and peril, people get scared and want personal protection for themselves and family.
Rumors abound that there has been an acute run on guns and ammo the past couple of weeks. Accordingly some supplies of certain types of firearms may be in thin or short supply. We assume the manufacturers and wholesalers are getting new products out the door as quickly as possible, but sometimes raw material supplies run short and even labor issues may be slowing up the production of some guns. You just have to check the inventories of the gun businesses where you shop to see if they have a particular model you want.
The same is true for certain types and specific loads of ammunition for personal protection and home security. Some national suppliers are still running internet sales and promotions, but it is uncertain how deep ammo stocks really are. One local dealer in my area is only selling 9mm, 40S&W, and .45 ACP along with the purchase of a new gun. Other ammo calibers and types are in stock, but the most popular ammunition is being limited to new gun sales.
If you have fears of an escalated pandemic SHTF, then now is the time to hit the stores to shop for fresh supplies. With state sheltering in place orders, this may present some problems. You’ll just have to test the waters on that. This is the first such event like this we have ever faced, so proceed with caution.