Jacksonville gun shop manager said he’s seen nearly 40 percent increase in guns, ammo sales

Gun shops are reporting gun and ammo shortages -- staff at one Jacksonville store even said manufacturers can barely keep up with production. It’s something shops have been dealing with since the start of the pandemic.

Ziadeh Farhat, a manager at Green Acres Sporting Goods, attributes pandemic panic to people rushing out and buying guns. But now, he says a most recent spike in sales has to do with President Joe Biden’s planned legislation to tighten up gun restrictions, specifically the use of pistol braces.

“A brace is something you use to brace your arm with, to hold it out ... The reason pistol braces I think are going to be banned is people are using them like stops where they’re shouldering it,” Farhat explained, adding, “With the new executive orders he’s signing, they feel like this is the first of other ones that are coming down the line, so people are just trying to get whatever they feel in a few months might not be able to buy anymore,” Farhat said.

Nick Shaffery wants to teach his spouse gun safety, but he tells Action News Jax he has to travel from Tampa to Orlando to get ammo at a decent price.

“Every time you go in, it doesn’t matter the time of the week, it’s usually pretty packed, and there are people buying massive amounts of ammunition,” Nick Shaffery said. “The prices, they were gouging over here in Tampa.”

Back at Green Acres, Farhat said the store has seen an almost 40 percent increase in gun and ammo sales in the past couple weeks. For the first three months of 2020, 418,491 background checks were conducted for potential firearm purchases in Florida. That number jumped to 507,934 background checks for the first three months of in 2021 -- a 21.37 percent increase.

Meanwhile, Shaffery said he isn’t opposed to new legislation.

“I wouldn’t be worried about them coming for your guns, I would be more worried about making sure if you’re getting one you know how to operate it safely,” Shaffery said, adding that he welcomes gun safety.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reports a record 5,000,000 Americans bought a gun for the first time in the U.S. in 2020 during the pandemic.

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