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2020: A call to arms

Unforeseen outcome of 2020 oddness: Huge spike in gun sales

His brow slightly furrowed, Tim Cordell leaned in for a closer look at his laptop screen.

“Lotta guns being sold today,” he said. “Know how I know? It normally takes five minutes on a slow day to get a background check done. It’s taking forever right now.”

Days like that have been common for staff at Cordell Outdoorz since March.

An uncertain American populace became anxious with the COVID-19 pandemic and in recent months affected by the protests against racism and police brutality which has led to soaring purchases of firearms nationwide.

The metal building at Tioga has been pumping out guns and ammo to willing buyers at an increasing pace, Tim’s brother, Gene Cordell, said.

“You see the little ol’ ladies who never really wanted a gun before, but now they’re afraid of not having one,” Gene Cordell said.

The increase in gun sales is not just happening in Tioga.

It’s not just happening in Texas.

It’s nationwide.

Last week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigations processed 7.8 million background checks for gun purchases nationwide between March and June. Gun sales in Oklahoma doubled and tripled in Georgia.

Many of those purchasing guns lately have been first-time gun owners.

“Before COVID, I’d say first time owners were probably 15% of our sales,” Gene Cordell said. “Now, it’s probably 40 or 50%.”

Tim Delmundo, owner of Call to Arms II in Aubrey, concurred.

“I’d say about 40% are first time buyers,” Delmundo said. “And probably 75% of our sales are handguns.”

Delmundo said the rush to purchase guns has not only created delays in background checks but also in supply.

“It’s very hard to find the popular handguns like Glocks,” he said. “Just like anything, when the demand increases rapidly, it affects the supply.”

Availability of used weapons has also decreased, Delmundo added.

“Instead of selling their guns, you see people coming in to get ammo instead,” he said. “They’re hanging onto their guns more now.”

Cordell and Delmundo pointed to a current decreased availability of ammunition, caused by a spike in demand.

“That’s only going to get worse,” Cordell said.

Local citizens are also scurrying to get Concealed Handgun Licenses, Tim Cordell said, at the rate of one per day.

“We’ve had probably 90 people from around here in the past three months who we’ve helped with information about getting their CHL,” he said.

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