Not only toilet paper, gun sales on the rise due to coronavirus

Norr Hendricks owner Fast Cache Pawn said when he called for back ground checks is taking longer then normal indicating a state wide increase in firearms sales .

LOGAN – While some are worrying about having enough toilet paper, others are concerned about protecting themselves. Gun sales are spiking in some parts of the country, including Utah.

Norr Hendricks owner Fast Cache Pawn said they have seen an increase in firearm sales, but not hunting rifles. He has sold more handguns and assault rifles in the past couple of weeks than he usually does.

The LA Times, USA Today and other large metropolitan newspapers are reporting a spike in gun sales in some states. That trend is also playing out in parts of Utah.

North of Ogden, Smith & Edwards is one of those guns and ammo retailers seeing a spike in sales of firearms and other supplies.

Michael Murphy, a firearms salesman at the large retailer, said the sales spree was bigger than Black Friday.

“Oh, my goodness,” he said. “Guns, ammo, survival supplies, the whole nine yards — it’s flying off the shelves. I’m pretty sure coronavirus is the main cause of it.”

Murphy added that there are just blank spots on the shelves at Smith & Edwards where guns and ammo are supposed to be.

Jason Larsen, at Al’s Sporting Goods, said things are a little more calm in Cache Valley.

“There has not been a run on guns here,” he said. “I don’t think people here have the fear factor you see in other places.”

He said the store has seen an uptick in gun sales as people became more aware of the severity of the coronavirus situation, but Al’s is also seeing a sales increase in other items.

“We have seen (an increase in demand) for other emergency supplies like freeze-dried food with a 20- or 30-year shelf life,” Larsen said. “We can’t get any more freeze-dried food right now; when it runs out, it is gone.”

He added that Al’s is also seeing an increase in demand for water filtration and camping supplies.

Although it is spring break, Larsen said people aren’t traveling to Europe or other long-distant destinations.

“People are staying home. They are going camping, hiking or riding bikes,” he said. “They are going outdoors to breath clean air and enjoy the outside.”

But the biggest sales trend the Logan store has seen the past couple of weeks is a run on trampolines.

“We have been selling trampolines like crazy,” he said. “It’s been wild.”

Larsen attributes those sales to local moms keeping their kids at home during spring break.

“Doing stuff outside is great for kids,” Larsen said.

Norr Hendricks, owner of Fast Cache Pawn, said his business has seen an increase in firearm sales. “I think it has doubled for the past two weeks.”

“The increase in sales was for assault rifles and handguns,” he said. “Calling for background checks has taken much longer than normal; I was on the line for over an hour waiting for one last Friday.”

The pawnshop doesn’t have a lot of ammo.

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