"My gun store has had a run like I've never seen before," said Todd Cotta, the owner of Kings Gun Center in Hanford, Calif., in the state's agriculturally rich Central Valley. "It was just an avalanche of new gun buyers for the first time."
These buyers are white, Black, Asian and Latino and come from all political beliefs. And they're being driven by uncertainty, fear and a need to feel safe.
Gun sellers across the country said the pandemic and civil unrest over the past year have pushed customers to feel they must take control of their families' protection. Fears of Congress passing new gun control legislation in the wake of a rash of mass shootings since March are also adding fuel to the buying craze, industry insiders said.
Burbank, Calif.-based Redstone Firearms owner Geneva Solomon said both sales at her and her husband's gun store and enrollment in their firearms education classes are up.