Surge in gun sales worries experts about safety

Local News

ALTOONA, BLAIR COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — In times of turmoil, sales of guns tend to surge and the COVID-19 pandemic is no different.

There is a concern from experts, however, that some people are firing off purchases without knowing how to safely operate a firearm.

Paula Biddle, Altoona Real Estate Agent & Mom is one of more than 2 million Americans who got their license to carry this spring.

She says “sometimes fear of the unknown can take over your life and I don’t want to be afraid to live my life, to go to work, to send my daughter to school, to go to the grocery store, to go shopping…I’ve actually been carrying it with me since the pandemic and the shutdown just because there’s a lot of uncertainty.”

Paula has gone through multiple firearms training classes with firearm instructor/owner for P91 Protection and gun store owner, Kermit Alwine. He says according to FBI data, firearm purchases are now at a record high, showing about 3 million purchases per month. Alwine says “the purchases that we’ve seen recently have been associated with the pandemic.” But buying a gun and not having proper training can put you or someone else in danger.

“I find that folks who buy a gun and don’t seek training may be inviting a terrible situation into their home…Seek both parts, not only a well-made firearm but also the knowledge to go with it” says Alwine. He says having the knowledge behind the gun can be the difference between protecting yourself and getting seriously injured.

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