“In the old days — I’ve been here almost 48 years — we used to sell one lady a month, maybe, a gun,” owner Edward Piestrak said. “Now, it’s almost one-third of our sales are women.”
The increase is not simply a change in the percentages, but rather a reflection of an enormous surge in gun sales across the state and nation.
According to FBI data, federal background checks for firearms soared from 2.3 million in June 2019 to 3.9 million this June — an increase of 70%. In Pennsylvania, the number of background checks for gun sales from June through September was up nearly 100% over the same period last year.
And at Piestrak’s shop, at least, most of the women and even the men buying guns these days are first-time buyers, he said.
“A lot of it’s to do with the rioting and all. People are watching TV,” Piestrak said. “They say they’re scared in their own house.” …
Piestrak said he thinks the soaring sales will continue if Joe Biden captures the presidency because many gun owners and advocates fear he would impose additional taxes or even enact gun confiscations.
“I think if the president continues in office, things will simmer right down,” Piestrak said. “But if he goes out, then people are going to really get frightened.”
Fuller agreed that a Biden win would likely result in the sales surge continuing. But he also predicted a Donald Trump win would cause civil unrest to get “exponentially worse,” which in turn would produce more sales.
“I don’t see it dying out anytime soon,” [retailer Dan] Fuller said. “They’ll be buying, for one reason or another.”
– James Halpin in Gun sales soar amid social unrest, pandemic