CHICAGO (CBS) — All the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic causes all types of worry about society breaking down, so people figure at least they can protect their safety. As CBS 2’s Marissa Parra reports, gun stores in the Chicago area are seeing a spike in sales.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker ordered everyone to stay at home and ordered “non-essential” businesses closed to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Gun shops are open in Illinois, and Illinois state police saw nearly 19,000 requests for background checks to buy guns in five days.
For some perspective, from March 9 to March 20 last year there were 17,136 inquiries. The same time this year there were 35,473.
“Gun stores can’t keep guns in stock, gun stores can’t keep ammunition in stock. Ammunition is selling out within a day,” said firearms instructor Erik Tweedt, who said calls to him spiked after the governor’s order.
“Calls from medical personnel, single moms, fathers with new kids,” he said.
But with the spike in gun sales comes concern.
“Hopefully, these people are seeking out training and not just sticking it in a closet and forgetting about it,” said Tweedt. ‘They need to go somewhere other than You Tube to learn about this stuff.”