Sparta shop seeing gun, ammunition sales skyrocket

Posted at 3:08 PM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-23 17:00:30-04

SPARTA, Mich. — The coronavirus has had a negative impact on many different kinds of businesses, but others are seeing sales skyrocket.

At Sparta Sport Shop, they are having a hard time trying to keep up with sales. Owner Garry Hosmer said the store typically sells about 10 guns in March, but that number has increased 500% this year.

Lines are long and ammunition is flying off the shelves as gun sales are five times higher than normal.

“I would’ve thought toilet paper and food and stuff would be more of a high priority but people want their guns to be able to protect what they got," Hosmer said.

Some want protection, and others are repeat buyers.

Chris Robbins and his family enjoy hunting and shooting at targets.

“The other night I got home and I had two bullets and it was like ‘well, the kids are bored," Robbins said. "They wanna do stuff they’re locked down stuck at home so, just got some bullets for target practice or whatever.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation says on Monday, the volume coming into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System was 300% higher than the same day last year. Since Feb. 23, background checks have roughly doubled what they were every day in 2019.

“Right now they’re putting a lot of them on delay and it’s taking up to 10 to 15 minutes to get an answer back. Normally within five minutes you’ve got your answer," Hosmer said.

The shop is starting to run into some issues with ammunition inventory and distributors are days behind on shipping.

“There’s nothing in the systems, all the distributors are out. I was one of the last stores in the area that had 9 mm shells," Hosmer said.

Despite the setbacks, business is good for Hosmer.

The FBI reports its background check data on a monthly basis, so the March statistics won't be final until April.