JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As gun sales spiked during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, local gun stores are not only seeing that trend continue but also a shift in who’s buying them.
“We’re having a lot of first-time gun buyers, and a lot of them are women that are in the market now,” said Z. Farhat, firearm sales manager at Green Acres Sporting Goods in Jacksonville.
A new study found nearly half of all new gun buyers since the start of 2019 in the U.S. have been women. According to the 2021 National Firearms Survey, 3.5 million women became new gun owners from January 2019 through April of this year. That’s compared to the 4 million men who become gun owners.
“We’re seeing a lot of women, not only purchasing firearms, our concealed weapon class is well over 50% of women,” said Farhat.
Farhat says the store’s concealed weapons class is made up of about 60% women. The class covers firearm safety and carry laws.
“I think, you know, they watch the news, they see the crime happening all over the city, and a lot of them never thought about purchasing a gun, but they just figure you know they feel a little safer,” said Farhat.
The Firearm Industry Trade Association surveys showed last year that 58% percent of firearm purchases were among African American men and women.
“They say the prices of guns are going up, and I told you earlier, it’s better to have a gun and don’t need it then needing one, I don’t have it,” said David Henderson, who was in the store with his wife purchasing a gun for the first time. “We’re getting it for our personal protection.”
Federal background checks for gun purchases hit an all-time high last year of 21 million, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Farhat says that trend is continuing this year.
Remember when ammunition was hard to find? Well, Green Acres Sporting Goods says ammo is in stock, but it’s not back to normal by any means, especially depending on what caliber you’re looking for.