Alabama gun shops see spike in sales following Capitol riot

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PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Following the recent protest that turned into a riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, gun sales are spiking across the country, leaving gun dealers struggling to keep up with the demand.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 8.4 million people bought guns for the first time in 2020. According to a Pelham gun dealer, uncertainty is a big factor in this rise.

“I think for the average American, the concern is the protection of the family,” said Ryan Hand, general manager of Nichols Outfitters. “When things are uncertain, who can you depend on? And most people realize that when everything hits the wall, the only thing that’s left is being able to protect yourself and your family.”

Hand said the surge in firearm sales started in March with the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales spiked again in June with the rise of social unrest following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and again in November following the presidential election. Now, they’re surging again.

“Since March, we’ve just had a perfect storm of market demands placed on manufacturers and dealers alike,” Hand said.

Hand said that while he has seen uncertainty lead to sales increases in the past, he’s never seen a sustained spike like what 2020 brought, adding that Monday was the largest grossing day ever at Nichols Outfitters. But while the extra sales are nice in the short term, Hand they’re actually bad in the long run.

“Our industry is basically going to be in a tailspin for the next 12 to 14 months depending on what happens, just trying to recuperate and restock and bring prices back to an equilibrium and to a regular market value,” Hand said.

Hand said many suppliers are not able to meet demand right now, and that means dealers are having a hard time keeping their shelves stocked with the merchandise customers want.


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