Gun sales remain high as coronavirus spikes

Advocates push training for new gun owners

Spike in gun sales leads to push for training

LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - Gun sales have dropped slightly since a peak in March saw the U.S. sell about 4 million guns, according to FBI data. Gun sales in Oklahoma spiked last March as coronavirus fears heightened.

The FBI cites first-time gun owners as the reason for the spike.

Tillman County Sheriff Bobby Whittington, who runs Badlands Tactical Training Facility in Grandfield, said that he’s seen more interest in training recently.

"I think it's a combination of events you know, with the COVID-19 virus going around and upcoming presidential elections the world situation plus all the protests are going on across our nation as people become more aware of their need to be able to protect themselves."

But with a gun comes responsibility. A handgun license in Oklahoma requires an 8-hour online course, but last November's constitutional carry law made a license unnecessary.

Second amendment supporters, like Whittington, all understand safety is always the top priority.

“People are buying guns out of fear that they might have to use a gun out of self-defense,” said David Chipman, Senior Policy Advisor at Giffords and former SWAT member. “Well, that’s much more like the training required that I needed to be on the ATF SWAT team. And I can tell you that it was much more than eight hours right to actually think that you could win. A gunfight requires you to fire around, possibly knowing what to do if a gun is fired at you. It’s very complicated.”

If you are a new gun owner, experts said please research safety standards.

“I encourage them to get training. You know, when a person comes here, we have very strict safety standards that we follow. And hopefully...they’re taking them back home,” said Whittington.

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