MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- The sale of guns is surging nationwide and right here in Alabama.
SRT Mobile on Cody Road says guns have been flying off the shelves over the last year and after last week’s protest in our nation’s capital sales are soaring again.
“It has been unbelievably busy,” said owner Donald Washington.
The display cases are virtually empty.
“We’ll get three to four guns in a day and we’ll sell two or three a day,” Washington said. “It’s getting pretty tough to keep up.”
Gun sales surged nationwide in 2020. FBI firearm background check data shows a nearly 40% increase nationwide. Alabama saw an even greater rise with a 57% jump in background checks.
“The drain on the system right now is everybody at one time is buying firearms and ammunition, cleaning supplies all at once so it’s really putting a strain on the supply and demand chain,” Washington said.
The spike in sales is being attributed to the three Ps: politics, protests, and the pandemic.
After what happened on Capitol Hill last week, SRT Mobile says they are seeing panic buying, with sales up 20% to 30%.
“If the supply and demand keep up, I doubt if I can keep up,” Washington said.
The increase in sales creates some concern for Mobile Police. Even with background checks, they are worried the weapons could fall into the wrong hands if they are stolen.
“I’m concerned about guns falling into the hands of irresponsible owners,” said Mobile Police Chief Lawrence Battiste. “So, if people own them they need to keep them locked away.”
Guns are not the only thing that are hard to come by, SRT Mobile is also a range which means plenty of ammunition is used. For some, bullets are gold.
“Right now, to be honest with you ammunition is probably worth more than the firearm,” Washington said. “Ammunition has gone up probably 20 to 40 percent in the last 6 months.”
The folks at SRT say if you see something you want, buy it because it may not be available later.