Gun sales are up across the United States as the coronavirus spreads, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The surge in sales is especially prominent in those states most hit by the virus, such as California, New York and Washington.
However, there has been a rise even in those areas less affected, with people worried about possible chaos as the crisis deepens and others concerned that the government could use emergency powers to make it more difficult to buy firearms.
The Tampa Bay Times conducted a study comparing gun sales for the state of Florida this past Friday through Sunday compared with similar periods in March the previous eight years.
The newspaper did this by comparing the number of background checks processed, since a background check is mandatory for buying a gun in Florida, and found that they were almost 75 percent higher now than the average number of background checks for the same period in March over the past eight years.
The sale of ammunition across the nation is also up significantly, according to the Los Angeles Times. For example, Ammo.com, an online retailer of ammunition, reported that its transactions went up 68% in the 11 days after Feb. 23, when Italy announced a major outbreak of the coronavirus, compared to the same time period before that date.
Some gun control organizations have raised concerns about the dangers of increased numbers of handguns in homes, especially with children out of school.
“The unintended consequence of these panic-induced purchases in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could be a tragic increase of preventable gun deaths for the loved ones these individuals are trying to protect,” Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence president Kris Brown said in a statement.
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