x
Breaking News
More () »

Jacksonville's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Jacksonville, Florida | FirstCoastNews.com

Gun sales skyrocket in Virginia following pandemic, protests

Gun violence experts fear a rash of violence in the coming months. Gun rights groups disagree.

ARLINGTON, Va. — Gun sales continue to skyrocket in the DMV. In June, Virginia broke a monthly record, selling more than 80,000 guns.

It is no shock to experts as to what caused the boom in gun purchases, but gun violence prevention experts believe it will lead to more violence down the line.

“I’m not sure in history if we have had this many first-time gun buyers,” David Chipman, gun violence prevention group Giffords said.

We also spoke to Mark Oliva who represents the Trade Association for Firearms Manufacturers.

“Sales in Virginia are well above where they were the year before,” Oliva said.

Both men agree on the several factors causing the run on guns In Virginia:

People fearing for their safety during the pandemic, people fearing for their safety because of civil unrest, and new gun laws in the Commonwealth.

“What we do know is more guns equal more violent outcomes,” Chipman said.

Chipman is concerned, the boom in gun sales to first-time gun owners will make it worse.

“People largely do not have the ability to train with those guns because ranges are closed,” he said.

Oliva disagrees. He said firearms manufacturers made sure the guns sold come with gun locks and safety kits.

He also said his group worked with retailers to keep guns out of the hands of people who aren’t allowed to own guns.

“If your name isn’t on the one on the 4473 form when you buy a gun, that’s a felony,” Oliva said. “That is 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. We have been warning the pubic and educating our retailers.”

Download the brand new WUSA9 app here.

Sign up for the Get Up DC newsletter: Your forecast. Your commute. Your news.

RELATED: Virginia gun sales surge during protests and pandemic, new police data show

RELATED: Gun sales in Virginia reached historic levels in June

RELATED: Virginia gun stores adapting to new laws in the Commonwealth