BURBANK (CBSLA) – Gun stores in the Los Angeles area were seeing a drastic increase in sales following Wednesday's violent breach of the U.S. Capitol building.
Several area gun stores were seeing an uptick in first-time buyers. Redstone Firearms in Burbank told CBSLA it saw a sudden 40% increase in people looking to purchase a gun, take safety classes and shoot at their range.
"All of a sudden the text messages and the phone calls and the emails began to skyrocket," Redstone Firearms co-owner Geneva Solomon told CBSLA Thursday "We woke up and just had a lot of different sales online, and today we've had an influx of business that we typically wouldn't see on a Thursday."
Gun manufacturers are also cashing in. Shares of Smith & Wesson jumped 18% Wednesday after the Capitol went on lockdown.
Gun sales as a whole have shot up significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with U.S. firearm sales setting an all-time record for 2020.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation found that 17.2 million background checks had already been completed through October, with two months still to go, shattering the previous record of 15.7 million set in 2016, according to CBS News.
Kimberly Bailey, a first-time gun buyer, said that she was nervous about the purchase.
"It's a little scary, but I feel it's very necessary thing to do right now," Bailey said, adding that the safety of herself and her elderly mother is top of mind.
"It just kind of put a nail to it," she said of the attack on the Capitol. "It's something that I always knew that we needed to do, but yesterday, I kind of like said, 'let's go.'"
Bailey says that while the new purchase gives her a sense of safety, she hopes the only place she'll have to fire is at the range.
"The biggest concern is just to know that you're protected, you hope you never have to use anything of course, but you just want to know that you feel like you're OK," Bailey said.
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