In previous election years, sales spikes were believed to be driven almost entirely by longtime gun owners who worried that a Democratic president might impose new restrictions on firearms.
This time, the sales appear to be driven by fears of societal instability, and gun shop owners and trade groups say the customer base is much broader, including large numbers of Black Americans, women and people who identify as politically liberal.
“People are uneasy,” said Jay Winton, who works at Roney’s Santa Fe shop, the Outdoorsman, which is out of stock of many varieties of weapons and ammunition, as well as accessories such as gun safes.
“They’re concerned about the long-term path of the country,” he said. “And just like they were hoarding toilet paper, they’re hoarding guns and ammo.”