ENC gun retailers see record sales in 2020

Local

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — If you’re in the market for a gun or ammo, you’ll likely have trouble finding it.

Some of the shelves at Carolina Caliber in Greenville are empty.

Yellow tags reading ‘Back Order’ hang where there should be handguns.

Gun owners say they can’t keep anything in stock, and its been like this for most of the year.

“This year in 2020, in June, I had surpassed the number of guns I had sold in 2019, and still have six months of the year to go,” said Tracy Warren, owner of Warren’s Sports Headquarters in Washington.

Finding what you need is like trying to hit a moving target.

“When I get a shipment in it’s a rush to get it stuck in the computer and stuck on a shelf and it’s going out the door,” said Warren.

The number of guns purchased in an election year is always high.

This year might be unprecedented.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a jump quite like this one,” said Sgt. Lee Darnell with the Pitt Count Sheriff’s Office.

In 2016, the last presidential election year, the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office processed just over one thousand purchase permits.

So far this year, it’s processed more than 23 hundred permits.

One retailer says the reason people are snatching guns off the shelves is different this year.

“I think more this year the big deciding factor is the concern for public safety or personal safety in the home, or in the business,” said Warren.

Darnell says the increase in purchase permits doesn’t worry him.

He says he permits are coming from citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights and going through the proper channels.

Darnell also emphasized gun safety.

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