BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — There has been a big increase in the number of people buying guns in Massachusetts since the start of the pandemic in March.
According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the average number of firearm background checks in Massachusetts increased from around 18,000 per month in January and February to around 25,000 per month June through October.
Brendon Bricklin, co-owner of Cape Gun Works in Hyannis, said firearm sales are off the charts at his business right now.
"We've seen a steady increase in April, May, June, July and August," Bricklin said, "all the way through October, which is or busiest month yet."
Bricklin said there are a lot of women and first-time gun owners coming in to purchase handguns, and for most of them, it's for self defense.
"They're taking classes like crazy," he said. "New people are getting into it. There's a lot of ladies jumping into this, signing up for the License to Carry class, or signing up for private lessons, private group classes, intro to pistol handling."
Bricklin said new gun buyers are telling him they're concerned about social unrest, riots, and the divisive presidential election. People aren't just buying handguns, which require a license. Bricklin said they're also getting less-lethal weapons like pepper-sprays, tasers and stun guns.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe reports:
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