While some panicked shoppers are heading straight to the toilet paper and hand sanitizer aisle, others are flooding to gun stores to stock up on firearms as more and more people nationwide are self-quarantining due to the novel coronavirus.
North County-based gun store Poway Weapons & Gear Range told NBC 7 that sales have soared after recent panic over the COVID-19 pandemic, saying their sales more than doubled this past weekend. The store says that type of turnout is atypical for their store and more frequent around big blow-out sales like Black Friday.
“What you see on my shelves and my walls, that is all I have in stock,” said Danielle Jaymes, the store’s Director of Sales Operations. “All my backstock of everything is gone.”
NBC 7 also spoke with San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention, who said people might be rushing to gun shops to feel safer. The organization says even if a gun is purchased legally, it can still become a danger if it falls into the wrong hands.
“The more guns that you have in circulation, first of all, the more guns that are in the home, the higher the risk that there could be an accidental shooting in that home,” said Ron Marcus, the President of San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.
On March 22, County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said, "It is not our belief that gun stores are essential businesses. Based on the Governor's executive order and so, therefore, they should not be open in the county of San Diego."