Kyleanne Hunter, vice president of programs for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said she’s not surprised by the jump in gun sales, as similar jumps are seen during other major crises such as hurricanes or natural disasters. However, she said she was very concerned by the lack of response by federal and state leaders to push for more gun safety during these trying times.
“One of our biggest fears is that we will have people, more and more people, in difficult situations because they’re stuck at home with a gun, especially with first-time gun owners,” she told ABC News.
The spread of the virus has led to reports of armed persons threatening others out of fear from the pandemic. Police in Maine were investigating a claim that armed men blocked a resident’s driveway with a downed tree branch to prevent him from leaving his home.
The biggest problem, Hunter said, is that the government’s gun inspection services haven’t been deemed essential on a national basis, which has opened the door for questionable sales.
“We don’t know how gun dealers are acting,” she said. “Groceries are still open but the FDA is still open inspecting the food. Why aren’t agents inspecting the gun stores?”