MIAMI (CBSMiami) – We've seen many products become popular during the pandemic, including puzzles, home improvement items and exercise equipment. One item continues to see record sales: Guns.
Gun stores nationwide are seeing an increase in customers. The FBI said there were almost 16 million (15,966,389) background checks for firearm purchases during the first four months of this year. That's a 31% increase compared to the same time in 2020.
Sales at Fuquay Gun & Gold in North Carolina have been non-stop since the pandemic started.
"Every time a stimulus check hits, the lines go around the corner," said owner Clay Ausley.
He said this is the busiest he's been in his 17 years of selling firearms.
"There's a tremendous amount of people still buying firearms for home defense this year. Also, a ton of interest in concealed-carry classes and in concealed-carry firearms this year," Ausley said.
Firearm facilities are seeing buyers from all demographics.
Josette Severson owns a store and training facility in North Dakota and said more senior citizens are coming in to take classes.
"Now during the day, several times a week at 10 in the morning, we have our Silver Bullet Club which is for 60 plus," she said.
Maria Larios said she wants one for self-defense after seeing the past year of unrest and recent mass shootings.
"I have a child, you know, I just feel like I need to protect myself," she said.
Many buyers are also concerned about future gun control legislation.
"It's very, very uncertain at this time in our nation and that tends to make firearms sell, for sure," Ausley said.
Gun sales are currently on pace for a record year.
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