By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Looking to buy a gun? You’re not alone.
“The firearm industry is completely empty, we can’t really order anything, we wait for distributors to contact us with inventory,” said CEO of Prepper up Todd Stone. “That’s how empty the industry actually is.”
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, 2020, gun sales rose 40% across the country, compared to the previous year.
Local stores say they’ve also seen a spike, with firearms and ammo in scarce supply.
Stone says sales have increased dramatically at his Prineville preparedness, survival and gun shop.
It’s a trend seen nationwide.
The year 2020 set a new U.S. record for gun sales and this January, firearm sales surged to more than 4.1 million, the largest single month for sales since 1998, when tracking began.
Stone suspects COVID-19 Is partly responsible.
“There was a lot of uncertainty when the pandemic came and that uncertainty drove people, to again, their personal protection and they were buying everything,” Stone added.
He believes lawmakers threatening to outlaw certain firearms is also to blame.
“They are rushing to buy those types of firearms before they either become not necessarily illegal, but illegal to purchase, so this year we do have a surge of people buying more of the AR-15’s and that type of firearm platforms,” said Stone.
The NSSF estimates 8.4 million Americans were first-time gun buyers in 2020.
“There are a lot of new gun owners not only here in Oregon, but here nationwide.” Stone said.
Oregon reported more than 49,000 background checks just last month.
With so many gun sales, especially to new owners, Stone pushes gun safety classes.
“As far as getting proper training for firearms it is actually important and crucial to do so,” Stone added.