PARMA, Ohio — Some gun stores have seen an increase in traffic in the last couple of weeks as people flock to stores to buy firearms and ammunition.
Robert Euerle, the owner of Parma Armory Firearms, said there's been a drastic increase in gun sales within the last two weeks.
"I would say we’re up two, three hundred percent easily," Euerle said.
Parma Armory Firearms includes a large shooting range, but its showroom where guns and ammunition are sold has been popular in the last few weeks. Cases that typically hold guns are almost empty as shipments come in and are quickly sold.
Euerle said some of the people coming in to buy firearms are first-time buyers who have never shot before.
"Just people coming in, 'Hey, do you have ammo, do you have ear and eye protection, do you have firearms, do you have anything? We want to learn,'" Euerle said.
Euerle said he thinks people are afraid.
"People are coming in cause they’re very unsure," Euerle said. "I mean, being told not to go to work, then being flooded at the grocery store, fuel dropping in price."
Lines at gun stores and empty shelves inside are now a common sight in different parts of the U.S., from New York to Missouri. Seeing that on social media has made shoppers like Victor Diaz nervous.
"We were just concerned with everything going on," said Diaz, who lives on Cleveland's west side.
Diaz said he and his family ordered firearms a while ago, but concern about the coronavirus pandemic spurred them to come pick up their purchases and buy ammunition.
"I’ve always wanted home protection, but this just pushed it more," Diaz said.
With everything going on, Diaz is concerned about what could happen in the future.
"People saying that there’s going to be food shortage, just [break-ins] in the houses, people are going to start..." Diaz said, trailing off. "It’s just really concerning, you know."
Euerle said he isn't sure why this fear of the unknown is turning people toward firearms, but he hopes buyers will learn to use them properly and go through training.
"The real important thing is that when you buy a firearm from us, we educate you for free," Euerle said. "You come in, you buy a gun from us, we’ll help you take it apart, clean it, you know, go on the range. Just learn more about this firearm, rather than just take it blindly home and say, 'Ooh, what do I do with this now?'"
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