NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported a huge increase in people seeking firearm background check requests on the day the stimulus check arrived.
Last Wednesday, the TBI received 3,917 requests for a firearm background check on the day most people received their stimulus check from the federal government. In comparison, On Wednesday, April 17, 2019, the TBI received just 972 requests.
"We did see a large amount of sales that were not typical for our store this time of the year," said Art Cason, the general manager of Royal Range USA in Bellevue.
He said they saw a 25% to 30% increase in guns and ammunition sales when the quarantine first started and then another spike when the stimulus check hit people’s accounts.
"The ammunition was a lot like the toilet paper situation at the grocery stores," said Cason.
Many were clearly first time buyers.
"Some of them had never even shot a gun," said Cason.
As for why people are now rushing out to buy guns amidst a global pandemic, Cason said some are buying the gun they always wanted, but couldn’t afford.
"It’s kind of like income tax time, you see a spike in sales there when that money hits the banks," said Cason.
However, the majority he said are motivated by fear during these uncertain times.
"A lot of them, they just thought it was something they needed to do to be able to protect themselves and find out about gun ownership," said Cason.
Cason said anyone buying a gun for the first time needs to receive proper training on how to safely use it.
Also, financial experts said, if you can save your stimulus money instead of spending it, that’s what you should do since it isn't known what is going to happen to the economy in the future.