East Texas gun sales skyrocket during COVID-19 pandemic

Special Reports

TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Rifles, semiautomatics, and revolvers: firearms are selling at the speed of a bullet.

Superior Outfitters in Tyler say their sales during the coronavirus pandemic have increased around a staggering 60%.

And it’s not just usual customers either. Many retailers in a national survey say that nearly 40% of their customers have been first-time gun owners. Most were buying the weapons for personal protection.

“We went from being able to get shipments in 24 hours to our wholesalers and manufacturers being backed up for six to eight weeks. They can’t even ship the product because they are so far behind.”

Austin Rohr, Superior Outfittters

Many have said that the global pandemic and images of violence in major American cities have driven them to their nearest gun store.

“I just want us to be able to protect ourselves in case things go like they’ve been in New York,” said David Guillermo.

Firearm training classes are also seeing a boom in business. Alex Azar, who works for Longview Handgun Licensing and Training, said that they are seeing all sorts of new customers and that one Saturday in Longview, dozens of people showed up for a concealed handgun license class.

“The last couple of months, it went straight up as far as the spike of new students. Usually, the firearm instruction and sales go right along with each other. Which is good. They go out and purchase a firearm and then they seek instruction or want to get a license.”

Alex Azar, longview Handgun Licensing and Training

Azar said that he has been flooded with first time gun buyers and he recommends to anyone still interested that they get educated on gun safety when they make a purchase, especially when you have children in the house.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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