gun store line
Courtesy Clarion Project and Twitter
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Americans have been buying firearms at a record pace since the beginning of the coronavirus national emergency. Approximately five million were sold through first five months of 2020 alone.

Now that Americans have watched days of riots and looting across the country with little or no pushback from law enforcement in many areas, they’re headed back to gun stores to tool up. And while retailers estimate the 40% of the guns sold so far — pre-rioting — were to first-time buyers, it seems a safe bet that a lot more people who have never owned a firearm before will be lining up, waiting hours sometimes, to make their first firearm purchase.

Here are just a few scenes outside gun stores around the country:

What do the stores look like where you live?

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  1. These rioters that are destroying buildings and killing people may get more than they bargained for!!~~

    • A lot of yarmulkes in the picture = A lot of jews that should have learned the lesson long ago, and had their guns, ammunition, and training well before this.

    • With all the screaming, shouting, yelling, enough spittle was in the air to effectively spread covid throughout the rioters and sjws. May not need guns in about 5 weeks.

    • most of us already have all we need….this is panic buying by people who are new to the game…and driven by fear…..

  2. Best thing I’ve seen in the past decade, if even half of the new gun purchasers think before they next vote further Leftard gun control has taken a serious hit, let freedom and liberty reign.

    • Sadly I can say without a doubt they wont change on their misguided ideals. Even after purchasing a gun. They mock their own as they loot and burn shops in their community. If anything these people are going to be some of the worst gun owners and will probably drive the call for more gun control once these unhinged dishits decide to try and use them.

      • “Sadly I can say without a doubt they wont change on their misguided ideals. Even after purchasing a gun.”

        I think you’re wrong on a lot of them- they’re having their mindset changed for them, especially those either inside the war zones or close enough to see it for themselves. No amount of MSM mis/disinformation is going make them believe that what they are actually seeing in front of them is not happening.

        • In my (albeit anecdotal) experience these are the type of people that get theirs while shouting fuck you at anyone doing the same. They are the star of the story in their minds and we’re nothing but background noise.

    • Go there often, usually just to look and get some ammo, have bought a couple of guns over the years. Good people. In regards to this subject, a co-worker just bought his first handgun the other day. He does have a shotgun that he uses for hunting though.

  3. Very surprising, no not really. Those that chose not to be prepared beforehand, rushing to acquire the tools of defense as a fleeting afterthought. I suppose that “never happens here” lemming mindset has been earth shakingly shattered for a fair few. One would hope, anyway.

    Civilization’s veil rests upon the fragile premise that civility is honored & maintained. The vestiges of which, given events ongoing, currently shown to be illusory.

  4. The people pictured must be that top 3% of “super owners” that the anti’s keep telling us own the vast majority of firearms. Always wondered who those people were. Or have they moved away from that one?

    • Nah, they’re just Barry’s bitter clingers exercising their white privelege.

    • Ha.

      I imagine all the super owners are NOT among these lines.

      My bellwether for new purchases will be ruger LCR down in 300-325 range.

      Interesting is that Glock 48 and S&W 642 prices remain relatively low.

      Most other guns have crept up to near retail.

      Interesting economic dynamics.

      • In Cali all guns at retail.

        Everyone who has an AR, shotgun, and a pistol is not buying. It is shifting to DROS pickups and… #shotthevirus realizing it is not a joke.

        Sad to see civilization go poof.
        I predicted this late summer, after a heat wave, after the food anxiety spikes again.

        This is when food is still easy to find… but maybe you have to try Vegan for protein…

        3 meals…

        • LOL, if by retail you mean retail + California mark up. popular off roster pistols go for 175% of retail and up.

  5. I suspect current events may have an impact on our Virginia Governor, Blackface Northam, with his promise of finishing his gun grabbing promise to Bloomberg. He got most of Bloomberg’s wish list through except for banning “assault weapons” that covered 90% of the guns available. His definition of an assault weapon was any gun of any kind that was capable of holding more then 10 rounds. That eliminates most Glocks and similar plastic wonders as well as many long guns used for hunting.

    • These arbitrary mag limits are why I have a small collection of micro 9’s and 1911 style 10’s. Not that I’d ever get rid of the other stuff but it seems like a good idea to have a replacement for my “high cap” carry for when my state goes full retard.

    • Well that’s the Mama’s and the Papa’s not the Kingston Trio so no one probably does.

      • Klaus,

        ???? That is the Kingston Trio.
        Do you see Mama Cass or Michelle Phillips anywhere in that video?

        Hang down your head, Tom Dooley. Hang down your head and cry.

    • Well, neither Johnny O’Keefe nor Del Juliana were ever in the Kingston Trio, so no, I don’t remember it.

      And neither of these people are Inez or Charlie Foxx (writers and original artists).

      Did you select the wrong video?

      • THAT is not the video I uploaded!! I tested after uploading and it was the Kingston Trio singing/playing “They’re Rioting in Africa”. Somethin ain’t right. Thank you for calling that to my attention!!

        Here it is, again:

  6. “What do gun stores look like where you live?” Don’t know. I don’t visit a gun store more than once or twice a year. Stocked up on everything decades ago. Ammo is stored properly so no worries there. I’d have to go through ten 35 rd mags (11 if you count the one in the rifle) before I need to crack open a fresh case. That’s nothing special. Standard load out at my home 24/7/365.

      • guest, not a “super prepper.” Just someone who’s had to deal with civil unrest. More than once.

        • Besides, I only keep half of my rifle and 1/4th of my pistol magazines loaded at any one time. I just have a lot of mags.

    • I go with my tea and popcorn just to smile and watch. Sometimes score a nice consignment piece or trade in.
      Found a mint 1st import Vepr12 for a great price.
      Headed to the lgs now to see if anything came in over the weekend.
      Still shopping online for some rubber buckshot.
      That stuff is hard to find!

      • Tom, I understand, but since private sales in Florida require no government involvement that’s the avenue I try to pursue.

        • Oh, I do too.
          I manage a few a year from friends or friends of friends.
          In today’s case, I just found another hole filler.
          A nice stainless .45-70.

          I’m a bit over 900 back in the background queue.
          At the rate the staters are going, it’ll take ~12-15 hours.

        • Tom, the stainless .45-70? Marlin? I have a friend that has one he used on a bear hunt in Wyoming a few years ago. He’ll probably never use it again. I offer to buy it a couple of times a year. Perfect for a big boar on The Farm.

    • Aside from long term planned purchases, I go to the gun shop every few years to stock up on powder, primers, and projectiles.

  7. no change in my neck of the woods, no rush to buy guns or ammunition, but everyone (men, women and most children 10 and up) around me already owns several guns, guess us country folk are just a little bit more prepared. even people who live in town generally own guns too. if you try to rob a store or gas station around here there will probably be several different people claiming responsibility for stopping it, and it’s difficult for law enforcement to determine which customer or clerk actually fired the fatal shot because usually there are multiple holes in the assailant

  8. Yep, when the COVID-19 crap started I had a few neighbors come talking about maybe getting a gun for themselves. I open carry while doing yard work so I’m probably the only gun guy they know they can talk to. Riots started, and now more want to know how to get a carry license. Michigan requires a certificate that you passed the gun safety class (none of which are being taught right now) so I turned them to the folks that advertise getting the Virginia non-resident license on line. I don’t know how legal that is, but I do know we have reciprocity between Mi and Va so it may help them out.

    • MI. resident must have Mi permit to carry concealed in Mi. So Virginia permit held by Michigan resident will be good in some states but not in Michigan. I live in Michigan too. Used to have Indiana permit until a Buttwhipe Michigan AG ruled that Michigan would not honor MI residents out of state permits to carry.

      • I always wondered about the legality of doing that, and told them so. It was one of those “seems to good to be true” deals to me so I never even considered trying it myself. I’m a “By the book” kind of guy. Spent 60 days in a backwater Arkansas jail 37 years ago for not having enough good sense not get in a fight. I didn’t like it …and have been determined to not repeat the experience ever since.

      • A lot of state AGs used a loophole tondonthat. PA, DE both did that. So visitors can carry with o it of state permits but not residents. Really fucking stupid. It’s oppression at its finest.

        • basically….by imposing a residency requirement…as our former, now incarcerated,.. AG did….an out of state permit, while still worth having….is only good out of state…..

    • To David Bradford:
      Might want to take a close look at Michigan’s laws because a resident of Michigan may be required to have a Michigan carry license. Being a resident is the key word. Many states have reciprocal agreements but that does not necessarily circumvent having a license in one’s state of residence.

  9. These lines are proof that the pressure to remove Firearms from Walmart / Dicks / ETC is a successful strategy to keep Americans from pursuing their right to lawful self defense. Get firearms out of big box stores, then only allow Big Box stores to open. Well done.

  10. I heard something the other day that really rings true, not just for gun purchases but preparedness in general…

    If you’re buying “emergency” supplies and don’t feel at least a little bit silly, you waited too long.

    I would guess none of the people in those lines feel silly. I also wonder how many of them are going to be able to get ammo for their new purchases (assuming they can make one at all), cleaning supplies, etc.

    • Never felt silly buying the stuff I put back, but I guess that is just me. If you buy it before you need it when stuff is relatively cheap…a couple of 50 lb sacks of rice last year were cheap, same with ammo, etc.

    • “If you’re buying “emergency” supplies and don’t feel at least a little bit silly, you waited too long.”

      My folks used to grill me about why I “needed” my collection. My dad in particular would always rib me about when I was going to shoot up a school once he found out I owned semi-auto rifles. The richness of it all was not lost on me when he sheepishly hit me up on Saturday to see if they could borrow an AR. I was seriously considering it until I asked if him or my mother had any idea on how to use the thing. I guess he thought it was just a magic wand or something as his answer was “well I’d never shoot anyone, just to waive around if anyone starts coming up the driveway.” I politely declined as I don’t want my parents arming the first asshole to storm their castle.

      • people like that are better off with replica guns…not the real thing….assuming you can even get them shipped into your state…in PA they just put restrictions on some of them…can’t get anything modern or that looks too real….

  11. My local LGS’s are seeing a spike. There’s been no trouble in my area, but we’re not far from a large city that has had problems.

    For myself, other than picking up some cheap 7.62×39 recently, I’ve been sitting this one out. Like most TTAG’ers, I’m pretty well stocked.

  12. The fun part comes when those people standing in line for hours finally get into the gun shop, pick out whatever gun happens to be left, and only then discover that they cannot take it home with them — even in free states that don’t have waiting periods NICS is so backed up that they aren’t likely to get an approval until at least the next day.

    Of course, in some states you can skip the NICS check if you already have a concealed carry permit — but how many people who already have concealed carry permits do you think are in any of those lines to rush out and buy a gun.

    Even if these first time buyers do get a gun, they may not find any ammo available for it anyway, but maybe they can find someone to trade them ammo for toilet paper.

    • I have a neighbor (a hunter with rifles and crossbows) who said he was planning on getting a 380 for his first hand gun. I told him to check up on ammo availability first. I informed him if he went with a 9mm or .45 acp I would be able to help him out from my reserves, but no 380 here.

  13. Academy in my area was raped by the WuFlu and has not recovered, Sportsman warehouse not too bad as their prices are a tad higher and carry mucho match grade stuff…A local place had different brands of .22 so I snatched up flavors of 40gr.

    No lines outside for firearms but people are buying.

  14. Lines down the block at my favorite gunshop-Blythes,Griffith,IN. I’m good. I prepared. Also another LGS South County Guns in Scherriville,IN had an attempted break-in last night. Nothing taken. It’s a FORTRESS with sliding steel wall’s that can be activated! Dunno about about Pelcher’s or Cabelas. Pelcher’s had a casual looking group of armed men sitting in front the store on Sunday during the scum looting…

  15. See all the “unprepared” people of the city….Probably the same ones buying all the toilet paper at the outbreak of a pandemic🤣🤣🤣

    • Why the down vote for buying toilet paper??

      When you run out, you’ll know why it is useful. ;~)

      And, it doesn’t expire or spoil.

  16. 5 million guns sold in last few months. Most to 1st time gun buyers. With the riots, looting and arson, the blue state residents have just discovered that the politicians they elected are neither willing nor capable of protecting them. Read a TTAG article recently where gun owners were mocked about “shooting the virus” and, the “zombies”. Well, the zombies are here. When your business is burning, your inventory has been stolen and, the “zombies” have just beat the s$!t out of your wife …call 911! Great Idea!!!! Call .45ACP, 9mm, .223 instead!
    With many recent events where the police have done …bad things (Breanna Taylor, Arbury, etc.) WHY was George Floyd the tipping point? It’s the “social unrest” all of us have feared. And, after 2 months of lockdowns and, with social unrest balancing on the tipping point, I have no reason to believe this will be the last “invasion of the zombies”.
    The peaceful protesters have a valid point and a constitutional right to assemble and voice their concerns. However, even the peaceful appear to be at a tipping point. How else would you explain the scope of the protests when similar events have been happening for years? It is time for change but, for now, the zombies are here.
    There will be an even bigger run on guns as the snowflakes figure this out. I say “welcome …snowflakes!”. Lemme talk to you about voting…
    For the rest of us…. PLEASE DON’T BUY ANOTHER GUN OR STOCKPILE AMMO! We already have plenty (my canoe sank from the weight …a very unfortunate accident!) Let the snowflakes have them… and, let them pay 2x or 3x retail to get them….

  17. I’m not sorry at all for the people who have voted stupidly for gun control. And now they want a gun. RIGHT NOW. Not after waiting 10 days for the back ground check. President Reagan was correct. We have 50 different states. So we have 50 different ways to do things. If shouldn’t be that way. But its is.

    And don’t even talk about the Mulford Act. The same one that the white socialist progressives have publicly embraced. They like racist gun control. White Liberals always have. It’s funny watching white liberals waiting line to get a gun. And the blacks who believed the white liberals when they told them “blacks don’t need guns”.

    And at the same time say the goverment is racist????

  18. A local big box had a huge ammo sale before the WuFlu broke out and I loaded up. I bought many thousand of rounds that I really didn’t need, but I thought “why not?” I’m also armed to the teeth with enough rifles, shotguns, revolvers and pistols to equip a neighborhood patrol if needed.

    Not so crazy now, eh, Mr. Bond? Sadly, though, I’m out of M-MPIMS.

  19. What really sucks about this to me is that I’ve been wanting to pick up a P229 Legion in .40/.357 Sig. I love the P226 but it’s a bit bulky to carry.

    Now I have to wait until things calm down before I venture into a gun store. Sucks I didn’t have the $s for the purchase before the SHTF.

    In the meantime, a high school friend who has been arguing with me about 2A for 45 years told me this weekend he was planning to tool up. Sweet victory. 🙂

  20. ALL lives matter…but, unless u have been asleep for a few years u should of been armed up years ago..with nut jobs Terrorist Obama created!

  21. LOL. Most of us are good. Most of those states shown, they’ll be lucky to have it in hand in a month. Gives plenty of time to buy ammo and schedule some training!

  22. Glad I don’t “need” a gun. There are a few I’d like to buy but I can wait. I’ll save my money up for a more expensive toy.

  23. Not seeing a big increase here. The usual amount of traffic at my LGS. Probably a different story in highly populated/mostly liberal areas. Nobody around here is a “first time buyer.”

  24. We were in a gun shop to restock after aa a gun range outing and it was packed!

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