Gun stores, groups seeing increased business amid pandemic, fears of civil unrest
Apparent fear over the possibility for stricter gun control laws is among several factors bringing many Long Island residents to stop at gun stores in recent months.
Many people on line outside Coliseum Gun Traders in Uniondale shared a similar sentiment -- they thought it was a good time to protect themselves.
The pandemic, along with potential civil unrest and a possible tightening of gun control legislation under a new administration, has triggered a surge in gun and ammo sales on the Island and across the country.
Coliseum Gun Traders owner Andrew Chernoff says business has been brisk, with as many as 30 people lined up outside his gun shop on any given day. He says many are buying guns for personal protection.
"Generally, they're buying shotguns for home defense, just a simple pump shotgun that'll do the job. A lot of times just the noise from the pump shotgun being manipulated will be enough," says Chernoff.
According to Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting, single handgun sales increased by 81% from last October. And single long-gun sales increased by 48% from the past year.
Firearms experts also say the demographics of gun buyers has shifted, with a significant uptick in first-time and female gun buyers.
Lisa Ludwig, a firearms instructor and president of the Long Island Women's Firearm Club, says her membership has more than doubled in the past year.
"I had originally like 25 members, now I have 60, so double," says Ludwig. "And then I have 20 more on waitlist. That's a huge uptick."