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DIGGING DEEPER: Gun, ammo sales surge since start of pandemic

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, gun sales have skyrocketed. However, it isn't just firearms that have been selling.

Gun sales surged in the months of May, April and March. With that, people are also stocking up on ammo.

Ed Chavez, owner of R & A Tactical, has been on the phone a lot since the start of the pandemic.

"This has been quite an experience," Chavez said.

Added to that, is the anxiety that customers are feeling in the wake of recent civil unrest.

"People want to make sure that they feel secure in being able to protect themselves and protect what they own - their property," Chavez said.

Chavez says due to such high demand right now, he can hardly keep ammo in stock. As demand surges, so do prices from his suppliers, especially when it comes to 9MM ammo.

"I think it's because I'd say 90 some percent of consumers buy nine-millimeter handguns," Chavez said.

Customers have also flooded in to buy other survival gear, ranging from long-term food supplies and first aid kits; to armor-plate carriers and  gas masks. That's not all people are stockpiling.

"Magazines, high-capacity magazines, that's another big seller," Chavez said. "But, first and foremost is nine millimeter ammunition."

Customers say they want to be prepared for whatever the future may hold. They like to stock up.

Chavez says he has also been answering a lot of calls about his concealed-carry weapons course.

"People want to know the laws pertaining to deadly force, they want to feel more secure that they understand all that, before they actually carry a gun."

Paul Birmingham

Paul Birmingham is an Investigative Producer for KVOA News 4 Tucson. He is a three time Edward R. Murrow award winner, native Tucsonan, and a proud Arizona Wildcat.

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