NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — FBI statistics show that criminal background check requests submitted for gun sales in Virginia during the first five months of this year are up 77% over the same period last year.
Robert Marcus, the owner of Bob’s Gun Shop in downtown Norfolk, said gun purchases first began to increase late last year, when Democrats won the majority of Virginia’s legislative seats and vowed to pass more restrictive gun laws.
Then in March, the coronavirus pandemic caused many to fear it would lead to civil unrest. That’s when Marcus and some other local gun shop workers say sales really skyrocketed.
In recent weeks, protests across the country over the police killing of George Floyd appear to have sparked another surge in sales.