Roanoke gun shop sees 110% jump in sales due to the coronavirus

‘They want to be able to protect themselves’

ROANOKE, Va. – Gun sales have spiked across Virginia because of the coronavirus, including in Roanoke.

The Virginia Firearms Transaction Center saw over 80,000 gun sales in March, which is a 75% jump from last year at this time.

SafeSide Tactical in Roanoke said its gun sales are up 110% in March from last year.

Last month was the highest month for gun sales in the store’s seven-year history since opening in the Roanoke Valley.

Due to the high demand, manufacturing and shipping times for guns and ammunition are also taking longer.

SafeSide Manager Matthew Jones said he’s seen a mix of first-time buyers and return gun owners all trying to protect themselves because these are uncertain times and they’re not sure what people are capable of during the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Lord forbid, in the middle of the night, there’s that knock and it’s not, you know, your neighbor needing help,” Jones said, "And it’s somebody trying to get in. They want to be able to protect themselves.”

SafeSide also said it is offering online concealed carry courses. However, because gun ranges are closed, new gun owners don’t have anywhere to safely practice using their new weapons.

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