WEST HANOVER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — Sales of guns and ammunition have been surging since the pandemic began. A lot of the demand is coming from first-time buyers looking to train on their new guns.

At Staudt’s Gun Shop, they used to sell a case of ammo a day. Now they’re only getting a shipment of one case a week.

Nationwide, according to Small Arms Analytics, firearm sales in July were up about 135% compared to last year.

“We’re effectively doing about triple the amount of business that we were doing this time last year and it’s been that way since March,” said Kurt Green, manager at Staudt’s Gun Shop.

Green says between the pandemic itself and recent protests and riots, many people want to protect themselves.

“Bought a firearm today and it was a 9-millimeter and due to the ammo shortage they have no 9-millimeter ammunition and that’s pretty much my understanding throughout the area,” said customer Kurt Kauffman.

“Slowly but surely, we are having enough in the store to support firearms that we’re selling, but it is an uphill battle,” Green said.

It’s an uphill battle that may have to do with politics, especially during an election year.

“Production was at an all-time low during the Trump administration because the demand was at a low and now that demand is at a high, production hasn’t ramped up quite as quickly,” Green said.

As far as the fall hunting season, Green says that ammo hasn’t been affected as much.

“Because it’s not generally used for excessive amount of training. A lot of people that are taking new training courses — NRA-sponsored training courses — they’re looking to shoot between 150 and 350 rounds just in a course,” Green said.

For now, ammo is being primarily reserved for those first-time buyers.

“It will level out, so there’s nothing to panic about,” Green said. “It’s all just a matter of being patient and making sure that everybody gets at least a little bit of something.”

Green expects the shortage to last at least through the end of the year.

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