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Gun sales surge in El Paso during virus pandemic

EL PASO, Texas -- Demand has been high for many household goods during the pandemic. You might expect shoppers to clear store shelves of hand sanitizer and food during the pandemic, but another less likely product has been seeing sales surge too: guns.

Weapons and ammunition sales have surged all across the country. FBI background checks were up 32% this May compared to last.

"It's dramatic," said Jeremy Scott Drake, who owns Drake Fine Sporting Arms in El Paso, "to a point where our suppliers and distributors are completely out of stock of anything that anybody would want."

Sales at Drake's store have surged over the past few months since the virus started to spread in the area.

"We're also seeing a big push in people that may not have been a gun owner in the past and now they're wanting one," Drake said.

Drake says he's not seeing as drastic of an increase with products that might used for hunting, like rifles, but rather for personal defense weapons like pistols.

"There's no rhyme or reason behind what people are buying," Drake said. "I think this is more of an eye-opening thing, the potential that maybe they (customers) might be on their own. That's a real fear for people."

One psychiatrist with Texas Tech Physicians of El Paso says guns could give people a sense of control amidst the uncertainty that has come with the pandemic.

"No one really knew what was going on," Dr. Fabrizzio Delgado said. "No one really knew how to treat it and no one really knew how long it's going be. We still don't know. That was the reason why so many people were feeling a sense of fear, a sense of loss of control."

Dr. Delgado says the trends in sales do not surprise him, but he believes they will stabilize soon as more businesses reopen and the world feels more like it used to.

Drake hopes new customers will take the responsibility seriously.

"My advice would be that if you're not a previous gun owner, you're not previously familiar with weapons and things like that, familiarize yourself. Take classes," he said. "Do those things to protect yourself and the people around you."

Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.



  1. I don’t guess the white trash understands that you can’t shoot a virus. Probably the same type of human scum that buys 12 – 6 pack rolls of toilet paper at once.

    1. Too bad you can’t legally own a firearm, Alberto Velarde, because you stole the identity of a registered sex offender living in El Paso. I am sure he is looking for you at your hovel, Ridgemar Apartments.

    2. Aren’t you white trailer park trash? BTW – You are the only libtard in El Paso that doesn’t understand why guns sales are high here and all in the U.S. Go to your local Academy and you will see bare shelves and racks.

  2. ‘Gun run pandemic cabin fever’ Most legally owned Guns aren’t used ‘to protect yourself and those around you.’ but are used in Domestic Violence or self- Inflicted suicide,mass shooting, or accidentally shooting toddlers

    1. I’ll take the mass shooter, I can shoot the mass shooter. Can’t really shoot the virus out of the air, short of shooting the infected person but that’s just not appropriate use of force.

    1. No but if you fear for your life you can use deadly force with a gun against a BLM protest/riot that is trespassing on your property and threatening you. It’s called self-defense. Just ask those libtard lawyers in St Louis about that. Even used an AR15. It’s all about safety and security dolt not about shooting a virus. But libtards are walking viruses so be careful what you say.

  3. Dr Delgado is an idiot. He has no knowledge about guns and gun sales. Gun sales have been going up steadily when Obama was first elected and the 8 years thereafter. Going up after every mass shooting since the libtards wanted a 100% gun grab. Obama was the best gun salesman in the U.S. Due to the effects mainly insecurity of the COVID-19 even libtards are buying guns and doing prepping.

  4. Logical to buy a pistol if you don’t have one and are legally allowed. Idiot protesters are turning into rioters and are getting no grief from the press when they damage or trespass on private property. Some idiots left a guillotine in Jeff Bezos’ yard. That’s a death threat. There’s a line between peaceful protesting and violent acts, and law abiding citizens have every right to defend themselves and their property.

  5. The article that started this page said that people were buying guns because of the pandemic. If they are, in fact, buying guns because of the pandemic, shouldn’t someone explain to these idiots that a gun will not kill the virus?

    1. You’re not very smart are you? The smart person would realize the implications of a pandemic dwindling supplies and slowing police response and what that effects could mean in the future. But you’re not very smart huh, you just live in the here and now not thinking about the future right? No the firearm wouldn’t kill the virus, you’re right, but it will kill the home intruder raiding your home for TP and some beans.

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