ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) — A pandemic-induced frenzy to buy firearms began once Gov. Gavin Newsom put a statewide stay-at-home order in place, closing non-essential businesses and ordering everyone to shelter in place.
National statistics show a record 2.5 million guns were sold in March, up 85% compared with the same month last year.
Owner Terry Fong of Rocklin Armory said the rush to buy guns happened overnight, catching them off guard.
“The first week, we had a lot of guns,” Fong told FOX40. “Now, it’s like my wholesalers — I have 10 wholesalers — nationwide, they’re almost out of guns, ammunition. It’s hard.”
But he said they will be there for everyone who is ready to buy because safety is paramount for so many people, including those who thought they would never own a gun.
“We had a lot of first-time gun buyers coming in here,” Fong explained. “Probably 10% of our people were first-time gun buyers. They’ve never had a gun before.”
Allison, of Rocklin, grew up around shotguns and rifles living on a farm in Connecticut. But it was when the schools closed that she and her husband decided it was time to invest in personal safety.
“We’re home, the level of panic was increasing and people are very unpredictable,” she said. “I hope that people wouldn’t go to invading homes or anything like that. But we wanted a little more assurance in case it did come to that.”
Rocklin Armory co-owner Ron Macom said he never thought he would see one of his friends want to buy a firearm.
“Very anti-gun and then they called up when the coronavirus stuff all hit and asked about buying a gun,” Macom said.
Rocklin Armory is doing its part in social distancing and only allowing four customers inside at one time.