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Toilet paper and hand sanitizer aren't the only items that have been selling like crazy since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Sales of firearms in the U.S. went through the roof in March, spiking 85 percent over the same month last year, according to statistics released by the FBI. More than 192,000 background checks were conducted last month, more than any other month in at least 20 years, data indicates. All totaled, the FBI conducted 9 million background checks in January, February and March -- a new record.
The number of background checks does not directly correlate with the number of firearms sold. Some buyers purchase multiple guns, accounting for a single background check, and others are disqualified after checks from buying.
The rush to buy firearms has left many gun shops with empty shelves as they struggle to meet the demand -- and that means prices are on their up, says economist Jurgen Brauer.
"Much of the industry’s inventory will have been depleted, so that we anticipate that weapons and ammunition prices increase as well," Brauer says.
“(Coronavirus) was definitely number one topic of the conversation,” Angel Serrano, a first time buyer said. “The people behind me, in front of me, were talking about it, about what could happen, about people getting ready, things like that.”
“At the end of the day, you always hope that nothing happens,” he said. “But if it does, and you’re not ready, that could mean your life.”
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