In Bill’s Gun Shop and Range in Fargo, the walls usually display guns from its floor to the ceiling. Mike Price, general manager at Bill’s Gun Shop and Range, said their inventory is only a quarter full for guns and ammunition. He said during the pandemic their shipments can’t keep up with sales. A number of boxes of ammunition on orders that haven’t come in yet that I was expecting two weeks ago,” Price said. During the past three months, every handgun safety class has been full. “A large percentage of business that’s been coming in has been new gun owners,” he said.
The dramatic increase has been in tactical and defense style weapons. “It could be the pandemic, it could be the fact that you see all of these protests going on, the movement to defund the police, etc.” Price said. On top of the increase in defense weapons, North Dakota is seeing an earlier and bigger interest in hunting season. Compared with April through September of last year, North Dakota Department of Game and Fish has received a 40% increase in the number of resident general game and habitat licensees. Non-resident, 14-day statewide waterfowl licenses increased by 126% in the same time period from 2019 to 2020. Biologist Doug Leier with ND Game and Fish said the game population is growing with hunter demand. “We are seeing an increase in license applications and our lottery applications for deer and bighorn sheep going into the fall,” he said. Bill’s Gun Shop and Range have been able to keep up with hunting demand. [full article]