COVID-19

With COVID-19 comes a surge in gun sales

Jonathan Levinson Apr 13, 2020
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People wait in line at Northwest Armory, a gun store in Portland, Ore., on March 21, 2020, two days before the governor issued a stay-at-home order.
COVID-19

With COVID-19 comes a surge in gun sales

Jonathan Levinson Apr 13, 2020
People wait in line at Northwest Armory, a gun store in Portland, Ore., on March 21, 2020, two days before the governor issued a stay-at-home order.
HTML EMBED:
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As Americans continue to figure out how to keep up with basic supplies, some are also worried about how society might react to the shortages and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To address those fears, some people are buying guns for the first time. But those who study guns and society say shelter-in-place orders and a surge in gun purchases can be a worrying combination, with implications for domestic violence and suicide.

Jonathan Levinson is a reporter with the public media reporting project Guns & America.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

Are people still waiting for unemployment payments?

Yes. There is no way to know exactly how many people have been waiting for months and are still not getting unemployment, because states do not have a good system in place for tracking that kind of data, according to Andrew Stettner of The Century Foundation. But by his own calculations, only about 60% of people who have applied for benefits are currently receiving them. That means there are millions still waiting. Read more here on what they are doing about it.

Are we going to see another wave of grocery store shortages?

Well, public health officials are warning that we could see a second wave of the virus before the end of the year. And this time retailers want to be prepared if there’s high demand for certain products. But they can’t rely totally on predictive modeling. People’s shopping habits have ebbed and flowed depending on the state of COVID-19 cases or lockdowns. So, grocers are going to have to trust their guts.

What’s going to happen to retailers, especially with the holiday shopping season approaching?

A report out Tuesday from the accounting consultancy BDO USA said 29 big retailers filed for bankruptcy protection through August. And if bankruptcies continue at that pace, the number could rival the bankruptcies of 2010, after the Great Recession. For retailers, the last three months of this year will be even more critical than usual for their survival as they look for some hope around the holidays.

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