The legal sale of guns across the U.S., including Jacksonville, is not slowing down.
Z. Farhat, manager of Green Acres Sporting Goods, said crimes such as armed robbery and burglary, carjackings, and multiple deadly shootings have led to a spike in gun sales at his store.
Farhat said more people who have never owned a gun are now purchasing a firearm. He sid the recent spike in gun sales at his store has a lot to do with the news about violent crime that people see on TV.
Farhat said some new customers have explained their fears.
“They’re thinking of it is, what if that happened to me? I at least want to have a fighting chance,” he said.
Farhat said the spike in gun sales to first-time buyers is also attributed to people who have either been victimized by violent crime or know someone who was a victim.
“That’s how people get the impulse to buy a firearm,” Farhat said.
According to Guns.com, a marketplace for federally licensed gun stores, there were an estimated 1.1 million guns legally sold across the US last month making September the 50th month in a row in which an estimated million or more guns were sold by federally licensed firearm dealers. Those estimates are based on data from the FBI National Instant Criminal Background Checks for either purchasing a gun or obtaining a carry permit. Farhat said an overwhelming majority of guns recently sold from his store are compact and sub-compact handguns. Those specific firearms are much easier to conceal and then deploy for self-defense.
But not everyone who wants to defend themselves is willing to take a life in the process. Farhat said about 10% of new customers are purchasing less lethal weapons.
“They don’t want to kill anybody. They just want to get somebody off them, so they can get away and get help,” Farhat said.
Popular less lethal weapons include pepper ball guns which can look like actual firearms and can incapacitate an attacker for up to 30 minutes so a victim can get away and call the police. Farhat said tasers and stun guns are also popular less lethal options.