Gun stores across King County are experiencing a run on ammunition, as customers flock to the stores amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
On Monday afternoon, gun stores were flooded with customers. Several across King County were contacted for this story, and those that answered confirmed high volumes of customers. One employee at LowPriceGuns in Bellevue told this reporter to “call back in 2021.”
And it’s not just happening here. The Associated Press reported that ammo sales have increased in recent days, with customers buying more guns and ammunition.
An employee at Work-Sports & Outdoor in Enumclaw said people have been buying large amounts of ammunition since at least last week. They said two separate customers had each bought around $3,000. Freeze-dried food, toilet paper and work clothes have also been hot commodities. However, the store has another order in for ammunition, and there’s been no disruptions in the supply chain so far.
Several major online ammunition retailers were also sold out of .223 Remington, a popular sporting round for rifles like the AR-15. However, larger quantities costing thousands of dollars were still available.
It’s not the first time there’s been a run on ammunition. During the Obama years, online rumors whipped some gun owners into a buying frenzy, which created a national shortage of many popular rounds.
The current round of buying comes amid much different circumstances as the country tries to get a handle on the COVID-19 outbreak. Orders from Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee, as well as local officials, has shut down bars, many restaurants and many other workplaces in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus.
It is unknown how long these restrictions could be enacted, but President Trump said Monday that the epidemic could stretch into July or August nationwide. Locally, King County Executive Dow Constantine also said Monday that hospitals are expected to see cases peak between six to eight weeks.