We’ve already written some about Coronavirus and 2020 election influences on buying. But because these things are ever evolving and can change in a moment’s notice, it is time for an update.
At the time of this writing, multiple states have closed bars, restaurants and banned gatherings of various sizes. While most retail trade remains open, public fear has had an impact on businesses of all sorts – both good and bad. As the US enters the peak of virus infection, expect unease to expand.
Meanwhile, FFL holders are faced with a number of problems – ranging from protecting their health and that of their customers, to even simply keeping inventory in stock! It’s a wild world out there right now folks, and it is going to get weirder before it gets better. Let’s take a quick look at how things are going right now.
Of Course Guns Get Targeted In Emergency Declarations…
Illinois has long been a constitution free zone (can we start quarantining these sorts of places from the rest of the country?) where civil rights range from optional, to non existent or only available to those with cash and connections. So it is no surprise that Champaign, IL thinks that among other things, during a state of emergency that it can ban gun and ammo sales.
Good job Champaign. You are literally part of the problem in America. Expect other cities or maybe even states to try this sort of stunt. A pity that since pretty much every state and police department gets some sort of Federal dollars, they aren’t allowed to do this sort of thing. I’m sure they’ll try though.
Gun Sales are Booming (In Most Places)
This one is all over the place folks. Either you are seeing massive upticks in traffic and sales, or you aren’t. We’ve spoken to FFL’s who are seeing fewer sales, while well known gun photographer Oleg Volk shares the story of a local FFL who has seen literally hundreds of sales in a single day!
Others report similar things. People are buying up guns and ammo out of fear of unknown virus related social unrest, political confusion, and an increased ramp up by the American left to promote outright gun confiscation and bans unheard of since the days Democrats openly passed laws banning black people in the South from owning or carrying guns.
The LA Times reports a huge uptick in gun sales in California and other states heavily affected by the Coronavirus. I bet a lot of people are wishing they hadn’t supported draconian gun control laws and politicians there. By the time background checks and waiting periods end, it’s possible the whole virus crisis could be over.
Chinese Propaganda Time
Now that China has apparently started seeing a downtick in COVID-19 cases and deaths, I guess they’ve got time to talk trash about American gun owners – the same American gun owners who manage to keep a lot of Chinese plants busy churning out entry to mid level parts and optics for a great many guns (maybe the Politburo shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them?)
Anyway, Americans are stupid, American gun culture is dangerous, blah blah blah blah. The usual whining and posturing we’ve come to expect from Communist regimes once again rears its annoying head when the Chinese need to deflect from their own problems on the world stage.
For the record, we think it’s the other way around. American gun owners good, Chinese Communists bad. Keep trying to posture China. The world is learning how to do without Chinese factories and labor, and a great many nations far more friendly to the US, plus our own domestic factories are more than happy to do business with the US while not talking trash about our gun rights. Maybe they forgot what Mao said was the source of all political power? Or fear their people figuring that out again.
Speaking of Out of Touch Leftist Regimes During Times of Crisis…
Washington DC apparently can’t cope with the fact that thousands of law abiding Americans are * gasp * carrying thousands of guns.
In a time of national declared emergency when people irrationally stockpile goods and create artificial scarcity of crucial products, being armed is more prudent than ever before, especially when you live in a place like DC. Apparently though self sufficiency and the ability to rely on oneself instead of the police for personal protection is too much for some of the DC City Council.
Expect to see more and more attacks on the right to keep and bear arms during the days and weeks ahead. Given the chance, the left will happily decided that somebody owning a gun is too much of a risk to the criminal and oppressor classes, and try to disarm you in order to ensure that you have no choice but to adhere to whatever madness and social control they think is required.
So What’s Going On?
Well, nobody wants to use the P word, but whenever large volumes of guns and ammo fly off the shelves, distributors report shortages, and first time gun owners line up in droves to buy guns, it is pretty much a panic or the prelude to one.
In times of crisis, people realize how little they can depend on the government to keep them safe. At the last minute, they turn to stockpiling food, water and toilet paper, and then realize they probably should get guns and ammo too.
This is human nature and it is hard to control. But as an FFL there are a lot of things you can do in times like this.
- Stay calm. There is little value in fueling unrest by sharing edgy memes, or bombastic statements about armed force, or in encouraging panic buying.
- Be reasonable. You may have to limit ammo and gun sales so that everyone has a chance at getting some. Remember when hoarders were buying up .22 LR as soon as it hit the shelf and resold at huge markups to desperate shooters? We can stop that from happening now and make sure that as many people as possible get the guns and ammo they want and deserve.
- Grow the community. Many first time gun buyers are non traditional gun owners. They may come from minority or immigrant populations that don’t have a tradition of gun ownership, or they may be left wing leaning and realizing the failure of some of their policies. Now is not the time to alienate them with non gun related politics, or to promote conservative agendas during the buying or training process. The name of the game is gun ownership, not gun ownership, plus promoting non gun related social and political agendas. Leave that kind of thing to the left, and welcome anyone buying a gun with open arms and make sure they get the gun, ammo and training they need to understand and safely use their new purchase. We’ll convert a lot of people to pro 2A right now – but only if we don’t alienate new customers.
- Hunker down. Between virus concerns and the 2020 election, expect a heavy demand for guns and ammo to grow as the year progresses. Consider changing your operating hours, or even bringing on temporary staff during peak periods. Try to stay on top of your inventory and keep a close watch on what your distributors have available. The supplies you order now may be the last you see for some time if things keep up.
2020 is shaping up to be a scary year, and one highlighted with panic, uncertainty and fear. During these times, people turn to guns for protection and solace, and every FFL dealer in the country is the first line of that reaction. Together we can weather this storm and grow the 2A community now and in the future.