EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Gun sales are on the rise across the country, including in El Paso.
Sportsman Elite in El Paso said they’ve had nearly four times the usual business of people looking to buy guns within the last two weeks. The manager tells KTSM 9 News that many of the sales include many first time buyers.
The manager of Sportsman Elite said sales were already booming because of COVID-19.
Between January and April, there was a 48-percent increase in background checks across the country compared to the same time last year with an estimated 40-percent of those sales from first-time gun buyers.
Local shops said now a new spike in sales comes after defund police demonstrations started happening in the U.S.
“With people and politicians talking about defunding police a lot of people don’t understand what that means. They’re afraid that means shutting down the police department entirely. My understanding is that is not the case but people still want to have the opportunity to take care of themselves should the need arise,” said General Manager David Allen of Sportman’s Elite.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, nearly 6,400 licenses were issued in El Paso County in 2019, but the latest stats won’t be available until July.
Allen said he encourages buyers to pursue training at gun ranges and for people to take concealed carry classes so they can be more comfortable with using their gun as protection if it ever comes down to it.