Toilet paper, bread and guns: Ammunition, firearm sales up during coronavirus concerns

Virginia Beach

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — Toilet paper, bread and guns: What do they have in common?

They are all things that are really hard to find in Virginia Beach at grocery stores — but people are snatching up their last-minute guns and ammunition.

On Wednesday, staff at Superior Pawn and Gun on Virginia Beach Boulevard had a sale. They say the business has been “unbelievable”.

“We cut our hours yesterday from 12 hours down to six and we did three or four times more gun sales in six hours than we do in one day,” said general manager Heath Thompson. “We have old housewives coming in to buy ammo. Basically, it is everyday citizens coming in across the socioeconomic spectrum.”

Wednesday’s sale was held behind the business. Residents were able to get the protection they feel they need on the spot.

“They fill out their state and federal paperwork and we use the computers to check their background with state police,” Thompson added.

Gun owners like John Arnold showed up in a mask and gloves.

“I think just Americans aren’t taking it seriously,” Arnold said. “The chances of dying from the actual disease might be low, but if I contract the virus and I pass it on to somebody else who might be more susceptible to dying, then it’s partly my fault.”

Going out nowadays is like playing a game of coronavirus Russian roulette.

“We really want that social separation as much as possible,” Thompson added.

But shoppers say they’d rather feel safer now than sorry later.

“This is definitely a time where you feel you have to defend yourself,” Arnold said.

Like many businesses around Hampton Roads, Superior Pawn and Gun plans to close up shop after Wednesday. They will play it by ear for when they will reopen.

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