BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN/AP) – Much like the recent run on groceries, toilet paper and bottled water, guns and ammunition are now catching up to astonishing public demand.
“Business has been — through the roof,” said Mike Runzo, owner of Runzo’s Outdoors in Beloit.
Runzo is looking at one of his busiest weeks in more than 40 years of business.
“Not since the election time when Hillary Clinton was running,” he said. “We have both parties buying guns and ammunitions so it just doubled.”
“This is the most handguns we have sold to ladies and first-time buyers in the history of our business,” Runzo said.
Just as grocery stores have been stripped bare by Americans panicked by the coronavirus, guns and ammo have been flying off the shelves, too.
“We will possibly have to limit 9 mm and 45, the major ones, at this time to give everyone a chance to get some,” Runzo said.
His business isn’t the only one booming. There was a line out the door of Fin Feather Fur Outfitters in Boardman. Just about everyone in line was there to buy ammunition and guns.
“It’s been real trying times for us,” Runzo said. “First time in our history that we have had this surge in business. We try to accommodate everybody but it’s hard to coordinate getting shipments in and getting everything out to everyone we can.”
And it’s not just a local surge in the gun business. Publicly traded companies like Ruger, American Outdoors — which owns Smith and Wesson — and ammo manufacturer Vista Outdoors have all seen a rise in stock prices over the past week.
Some of the purchases are by people buying their first gun. Others are from existing gun owners, adding to their collection or stocking up on ammunition. Also potentially driving the sales are concerns elected officials may try to restrict access to guns.
Another gun shop owner compared the activity to a “Twilight Zone” episode.