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Firearm, ammo sales spike during pandemic, riots


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – National records suggest the sale of guns and ammunition has jumped substantially in recent days and months in direct result of riots happening across the country and the Coronavirus.

For Garris Specialties Inc., that sales trend remains the same.

“We have probably more than doubled, maybe even tripled our gun sales in the last two months,” said owner of Garris Specialties Jane Garris. “This all started because of the pandemic, and it is continuing with all the rioting, which we pray does not come to Sylacauga.”

According to, Americans bought an estimated 1,726,053 firearms over the course of the month, which is an increase of 80 percent compared to May 2019. However, everyone who inquires about a gun is not guaranteed to get one.

“We cannot necessarily use pistol permits to release guns anymore since the ATF stopped that in July of last year, so every gun that goes out forces us to conduct a background check,” said Garris. “I do know that at least two out of every five people that comes in asks us for information on how to get a gun permit.”

The FBI conducted 92,652 background checks for gun purchases in Alabama alone in the month of March. That number is a 23 percent increase from the previous month, and a whopping 78 percent rise from March 2019.

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