LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- When COVID-19 hit Arkansas back in March, we saw gun sales spike.
Now, two months later those sales are still steadily rising.
One pawn shop in Little Rock said they can barely keep new guns on the shelves.
“Guns have been flying out the door it’s all anyone has been asking about,” said Billy Landers, Owner of Big Daddy’s Pawn Shop.
Billy Landers has been working at his family-owned store for 15 years, he’s now the owner.
During his time at the store, he said he has never seen anything like the current gun sales.
“Sales of guns, we might have two or three a week but since the virus, we are doing three to ten a day somedays,” said Landers, “getting stimulus money didn’t hurt either. A lot of people used the stimulus money to buy guns,” said Landers.
Everyone who tries to buy a firearm must go through the FBI NICS process, which stands for the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
At Big Daddy’s, that’s simply filling out a form.
Once you’re approved, you are able to purchase a gun.
The FBI tracks how many NICS Firearm checks are happening state by state, month to month.
So far this year in Arkansas the number of NICS checks has jumped.
In January the FBI reported 19,126 checks. In February there was a small increase to 21,445 checks.Then in March, the FBI reported a huge jump to 31,651. For April, there was a small drop to 30,575.
For reference, the FBI website shows this is the highest amount of NICS checks Arkansas has seen since December 2015.
A trend Landers thinks will continue if stores can keep guns in stock.
Landers says even getting guns from his supplier is getting tricky since they have set limits.
“Whatever he’s got that I’m interested in, I can only get two of each one and it’s like that for all of his customers,” said Landers, “They’re (the two guns are) usually gone before they get here.”
To see the NICS Firearm Background Check records, click here.