BEDFORD (WSLS10) - For the gun industry, the month of June was record breaking. Background checks for gun sales hit an all-time high nationwide and in the Commonwealth. Year-to-year, there was an 11-percent increase in firearm background checks across the nation during the month of June.
28,000 of those background checks were in Virginia. Safeside Tactical, a gun retailer and manufacturer in Bedford County definitely saw a spike.
"We are certainly seeing the same trend. We are just getting a little better curve," said co-owner Mitchell Tyler.
That curve Tyler is referring to triples the national average increase at 30-percent.
In fact, they sold more guns in the last two weeks of June than in the previous two months.
Their best seller: AR 15's. Tyler says they've seen a fifty percent increase in sales year-to-year in automatic rifles they carry.Tyler says the spike in sales is due to mass shooting tragedies and gun violence that gain attention in the media, most recently in Ferguson and the tragic fatal shootings in Charleston.
"That draws attention to firearm ownership rights. There is always a concern that you are going to lose some of those rights," Tyler said. While that link between the two could be alarming, Tyler says most of his customers are interested in home defense.