Local gun shops see an increased demand for ammo amid coronavirus concerns

Posted at 4:45 PM, Mar 18, 2020

MIDDLETON, IDAHO — Local gun shops in the Treasure Valley have been busy since Saturday with a surge of people who are looking to buy guns and ammunition during the coronavirus pandemic.

Mid Star Firearms in Middleton saw their number of customers increase dramatically starting on Saturday. One of their owners told us on Saturday and Monday the gun shop did as much business as the shop normally does in a week on both days.

"It really has been crazy, we didn't expect this kind of reaction," said Justin Davis, one of the Mid Star Firearms owners. "We almost sold out of our handgun ammunition, we are sold out of 5.56 and 223 Rem. and 7.62X39 mm, a lot of our rifle ammunition for our higher capacity firearms is pretty much gone.”

Davis told us the demand has been high locally, but it has been the demand on the national level that is starting to cause a shortage of ammunition. Davis said right now most of the supply is going to big cities across the country where people are waiting in lines for a chance to buy firearms and ammunition.

"The system is empty so all of our distributors are out, our ammunition manufacturers have told us that they can’t tell us when anymore shipments are coming," said Davis.

So for the time being, Mid Star Firearms is limiting customers to buying two boxes of the ammunition that is in high demand in an effort to continue to have bullets on the shelves.

“I had shipments come in today, I’ll have shipments next week, I just don’t know what I will have two weeks from now," said Davis.

As for guns, Mid Star Firearms still has a pretty hardy supply, but they have also noticed another trend as Davis told us several first time buyers came to his store in the last few days.

"One of our customers here today walked in and walked up to me and said I want to purchase a firearm, I’ve never even thought about owning one before," said Davis. "We have seen quite a bit of that.”

Davis told us he wants the public to know that his shop will stay open, he said he has gotten a lot of phone calls in the last few days asking if the shop was closed.

It was a similar at Idaho Guns and Outdoors on Monday as their store was busy, they also had first time gun buyers and ammunition was also starting to become limited.