LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Guns and ammo are flying off the shelves, according to local gun store owners.
"I mean we can't keep enough guns in," Sam's Gold & Pawn owner Kevin Mashni, said. "We can't get them in fast enough."
LEX 18 spoke with half a dozen gun store owners who all said that they have seen a spike in the number of people seeking protection recently.
"Most of the gun sales is coming from the fear of the coronavirus," Mashni said.
He elaborated that those customers are fearful of the unknown effects COVID-19 could bring.
The trend can also be seen nationwide.
According to the FBI, March 2020 and May 2020 are the only months that have reached more than three million background checks since 1998, with the exception of December 2015 when there were mass shootings in Paris, France, and San Bernardino, California and President Obama pushed for stronger gun control laws.
The FBI data reflects the number of background checks that have been initiated.
The number of gun sales is not the same as the number of background checks initiated. Owners with particular permits or those buying under particular purchase scenarios may not have to undergo a background check.
Local gun store owners have also said they have seen an increase in first-time gun buyers.
"It's a lot of the gun owners that are first-time owning, first-time buying," Mashni said. "They just want something in their house for protection."
Research from the National Shooting Sports Foundation also shows about 40 percent of Americans who have bought guns in 2020 were first-time buyers.