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Gun sales are soaring. And it's not just conservatives stocking up

By Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times on

Published in News & Features

"If you're fomenting fear and violence at the very extremes, there's a point where people take up arms," Abramson said.

There are other reasons people are buying guns, he said.

When the government was offering federal unemployment insurance subsidies to people who lost work because of the pandemic, many people were earning more than they were when they had jobs.

"There was a lot of people with a lot of extra cash," he said.

And there's crime. Albuquerque has some of the highest rates of property and violent crime in the nation, although homicides have decreased slightly this year.

"A lot of people feel they cannot rely on the police," Abramson said.

He said he fields about 75 calls a day from people looking for products that he usually sells but hasn't been able keep in stock lately.

On a recent morning, a man named Jason stopped by on his way to work looking for ammo. He was in luck.

 

There was one box of bullets left for his AR-15-style rifle. He was surprised to see that the package of 20 bullets was available for just $11 as opposed to the $20 or $30 being charged online.

"There's been so much price gouging," he said.

The man, who declined to give his last name because he did not want his employer to know that he owns gun, said he had been into firearms for a few years.

"But I'm not a gun nut," he said. "I'm not a Republican or anything."

He said several of his friends who never were gun owners bought firearms for the first time this year.

"Everyone is scared," he said. "On all sides."

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