NEWCASTLENEWSONLINE.COM November 12, 2020 – Last week’s presidential election coupled with COVID-19 sparked a nationwide increase in gun and ammunition sales — while Lawrence County gun shop owners are reaping the benefits.
“People are afraid that our new president, if he gets in, is going to make sales a lot harder,” said Duke Morosky, owner of Duke’s Sport Shop on New Butler Road in Shenango Township.
Pennsylvania currently has the seventh-highest number of firearm background checks so far this year with over 1.1 million — 145,680 of which are from October — according to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System. Comparatively, Pennsylvania had 987,886 checks for all of 2019 — 86,066 of which were in October.
Joe Biden, the president-elect and a Democrat, may be the cause of the spike in sales.
“Some people claim they’re buying (because) they’re afraid they won’t get it in the future,” Jeff Nesbit, owner of Nesbit Guns on Ellwood Road in Shenango Township, said.
Morosky agreed that he heard patrons fear gun accessibility if Biden won the presidential election. “They’re afraid of Biden and what he’s possibly going to do,” Morosky said.
Both shop owners agreed they typically see higher sales during presidential election years, although Nesbit added the shop wasn’t as busy in 2016 when President Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were running for the White House. Sales during that election, Morosky said, were up at his Shenango Township shop, but this year the influx of business seemed to begin earlier.
Nesbit said the shop was busy up until Election Day last week.
When COVID-19 first began to shut down the United States in March, firearms retailers reported lines out the door of people wanting to buy guns and ammunition.
Nesbit estimated his shop has tripled sales compared to last year, and Morosky estimated his shop has done about five times the amount.
Popular items, like certain kinds of ammunition, have been difficult to keep in stock, Nesbit said, as manufactures cannot keep up with the demand.
Women, Morosky said, have been attaining permits and buying guns for their personal use more recently as of late. [view source]