In a gun store in Maryland industrial park, a mountain high stack of bullets surrounds Kat O’Connor’s counter as she waits for customers early Friday.
This spring has brought a pandemic and social rush for bullets and home defense. Adding to the list of precious and hard to come by items like toilet paper or Purell. After receiving from distributors, O’Connor has gotten 7,000 rounds, which will most likely sell out before closing time.
Most gun buyers are worried that the spread of covid-19 will lead to a season of hard-to-find essentials. With grocery stores running thin and those upset with not having what they need, gun owners are concerned they will steal from those who have. Most likely, Americans will handle the situation peacefully. Regardless, many feel it is better to be safe than sorry.
Up and down the US, firearms dealers are reporting surging sales due to customers concerned about the future. One North Carolina gun merchant said, “Our new motto is, ‘Dedicated to helping you protect your toilet paper. ”
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System responded to 2.8 million gun-buyer inquiries last month. People are buying out firearms and ammo at stores all around. On March 13th President Trump declared a national coronavirus emergency, meaning this month’s gun-buyer total will most likely be even larger.
O’Connor is not a gun retailer however she does have a federal firearms license or FFL. O’Connor is the inbetween for out-of-state sellers to Maryland buyers. Federal law states that buyers may purchase pistols only from FFL-holders in the states where they live. For example, If you live in Rockville and would like to purchase a handgun online, you can have it shipped to O’Connor, at TK Defense, and she can complete the sale for a fee.
O’Connor, a mother of five in her forties says “Literally every five minutes . . . the phone rings,” she’s wearing tactical trousers and a Glock 17 in a holster on her right hip. “They’re like, ‘Do you have ammo?!’ Because it’s so hard to get. I’m like: ‘What do you need? I’ll try to get it for you.’ They’re like, ‘What can you get?’ They’ll take anything.”
Others ask for help getting the handgun qualification license, or HQL, from the Maryland State Police, which is a month-long process. Legally you must have an HQL in order to buy a pistol in the state, you also need to take a four-hour safety class with a certified instructor such as O’Connor.
Gun dealer Charles Sykes, the only person who can legally sell pistols to residents of Washington, D.C., said he has stopped doing so, because he was overwhelmed by demands.
Handgun ownership has been legal in the District since 2008, however no gun stores. Like O’Connor in Maryland, Sykes is the only FFL-holder in D.C. Meaning any city resident wanting to legally buy a pistol has to buy it outside of D.C. and have it shipped to Sykes to finish the transaction.
Sykes said. “I was getting so inundated with firearms coming in, it got to be too much, I had to stop accepting them. Any firearms that come in now, they automatically get sent back.”
By closing time at TK Defense, around 30 customers had bought most of the ammo that O’Connor had — handgun, rifle and various caliber bullets, plus shotgun shells.
O’Connor said that, Personally she doesn’t think an apocalypse is at hand. She then smirked at the idea.
With a Pandemic of the coronavirus spreading across the US, gun sales spike due to people’s fears of what’s to come.
Author Bio: Blair Thomas has been a music producer, bouncer, screenwriter, and for over a decade has been the proud Co-Founder of eMerchantBroker, the highest-rated Merchant Accounts For Firearm Dealers in the country. He has climbed in the Himalayas, survived a hurricane, and lived on a gold mine in the Yukon. He currently calls Thailand his home with a lifetime collection of his favorite books.