COBB COUNTY, Ga. — A metro Atlanta gun store owner says customers are coming in like “piranhas” to buy up ammunition and firearms.
At the national level, the FBI says it processed 3.1 million background checks in August and 3.9 million in July.
“The demand is much greater than the supply,” said Adventure Outdoors owner Jay Wallace.
Wallace showed Channel 2′s Chris Jose around the showroom floor and pointed out the empty shelves.
“First time buyers are buying .38 special revolvers and 9mm pistols,” said Wallace. “We’ll get a shipment in one day and the entire stock of what we put out in one day will be gone in one day.”
Wallace said a shipment of a hundred guns will be gone on the same day. He told Jose manufacturers are running 24 hours a day to keep up with demand.
Wallace said sales at his Smyrna store have surged since March. He believes it’s due to a combination of the pandemic, civil unrest and a national push to defund police departments.
“It’s kind of like the doctor when the plague comes to town. We’re busy, but we’re busy for reasons we’d rather not be,” said Wallace. “We get pallets of ammo in, and it’s like watching a piranha feed. You have a pallet of 9mm or full metal jacket out, and they’re just buying it a case at a time.”
The probate court in Cobb County is trying to keep up too. Employees have seen a sharp increase in applications for weapons carry licenses.
Chief Judge Kelli Wolk said numbers are at an all-time high.
“Fifty was a pretty notable day. (Now) we’re doing well over a hundred a day,” Wolk said. “We have never had this number of months, with this high of a demand, ever.
“We haven’t seen a spike like this since December of 2015 and early 2016,” she added.
The probate court reopened for gun permits in May by appointment only because of the coronavirus. Cobb County residents will continue to need an appointment through September.
Wolk said the decision came after speaking with public health officials.
“People tend to line up by the dozens to get into the office, and the space to do that is relatively small. The proximity of people in the courthouse put them, my staff and others who do business here in danger of spreading COVID-19,” Wolk said.
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