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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

Gun Sales Surge Across Northeast Ohio Amid Coronavirus Concerns

gun and bullets
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Local gun stores report sales have been brisk.

There have been reports of bare store shelves across the region as people buy supplies for social distancing amid the spread of COVID-19. Local gun shops are no exception. Firearms and ammunition stores across Northeast Ohio are reporting a spike in sales.

The FBI releases monthly data on the number of background checks run on potential gun purchases nationwide. The numbers for March won't be made public until April.  

But, Gary Janson of Janson Brother's Firearms in Mantua said he's seen a 10-fold increase in gun sales since last Thursday.

"The masses, the panic buying, all they're doing is driving the demand up more, and I don't feel that it's all that necessary."

He called the surge "a perfect storm," a mix of an election year, tax refund season, and the spread of coronavirus. 

Gun Sales Surge Across Northeast Ohio Amid Coronavirus Concerns
Many of the more than a dozen gun stores contacted reported unprecedented sales.

Janson said with the closing of many businesses and restaurants, he thinks concerned Ohioans are rushing to gun stores to make purchases.

He said, like the surge in people hoarding toilet paper, there's no need to rush to buy guns and ammo.

Editors Note: This story has been updated to include a conversation between WKSU's Andrew Meyer and reporter Mark Arehart, as well as information on the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).