MONROE, La. (KNOE) – Sales of guns and ammunition have been surging since the pandemic began. A lot of the demand is coming from first-time buyers looking to train on their new guns and people scared of everything going on around the world, according to Monroe area business owner Bill Petrus.

Petrus owns T.P. Outdoors, where he says they used to sell a couple of cases of ammo a day. Due to high demand and COVID-19 related delays, he says ammo has been harder to come by and they’re only getting shipments of a couple of cases a week.

Nationwide, according to Small Arms Analytics, firearm sales in July were up about 135% compared to last year.

“We had a real good inventory but as time has gone on, inventory has gone down. Gun sales are probably two to three times what they were,” said Petrus.

Petrus says between the pandemic itself and recent protests and riots, many people want to protect themselves.

“Police are doing a great job and we back them 100%, but they can’t get everywhere in time. If something happens, you want to be able to protect yourself,” Petrus said.

He says it’s an uphill battle that may have to do with politics, especially during an election year.

“Back when President Obama became president, we saw shortages of guns and ammunition and people stocking up because they thought they were going to change the laws and now it’s really fear-driven,” Petrus said. “People are scared and they want to protect themselves for good reason.”

As far as the fall hunting season, Petrus says that ammo hasn’t been affected as much.

“Yeah, it’s not the time to worry. If you’ve got a box or two of ammo, then you’re good. You know, it’s no need to have thousands around your home,” Petrus said.

Petrus expects the shortage to last at least through the end of the year.

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