CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - New data released by the FBI suggests more people are buying firearms.
June set a new record for the number of NICS firearm background checks conducted around the country with almost four million.
However, that number does not mean there were four million guns sold in a single month. Some of the checks would have prevented people with certain federal prohibitors from getting a weapon.
William Hayes is the chief instructor at ATP Gun Shop and Range in Summerville and says the business is swamped right now.
“We actually had to shut down for a week because we had to restock the shelves,” Hayes said. “Right now you can’t get any 9 mm hollow point. We don’t have any .380 at all. I mean ammunition is going.”
Hayes attributes the boom in sales to three things: panic generated from the coronavirus and insecurity due to vandalism in wake of demonstrations and politics.
“Any time there’s political turmoil gun sales go up,” Hayes said. “If the Democrats win both the Senate and the House and the presidency, there won’t be a gun left in this shop.”
While that may imply a certain demographic of people are purchasing guns, Hayes says there is a wide spectrum of people looking to buy firearms.
He says a lot of people, black and white, are looking for protection from what he refers to as the radical ends of the left and right. He also says business owners are concerned after watching the riots in downtown Charleston back in May and the alleged lack of intervention from police to stop vandalism.
It is not just guns and ammunition that are popular right now, but classes as well – a fad Hayes is pleased to see. In fact, he is booked through September.
“A person needs to know what they are doing if they are going to handle a firearm,” Hayes said. “In all honesty, the average person in one hour can learn what they need to know to handle a gun safely and understand the best thing for them to buy. "