Gun sales skyrocketing amid ongoing pandemic, political unrest, experts say

WATCH: Gun sales skyrocketing amid ongoing pandemic, political unrest, experts say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Gun sales are reportedly skyrocketing across the Mid-South and thousands are applying for gun permits.

Gun safety experts said the surge is carrying over from last year and they working to keep up with the demand of training new gun owners.

FOX13′s Amicia Ramsey spoke with a state-certified handgun safety instructor, Deshun Goldsmith, who said political unrest and uncertainty about the future are some reasons people are taking up arms.

Content Continues Below

“People are scared and they don’t know what to do,” Goldsmith said. “When you don’t know what to do, you go and get a gun to make sure you’re safe. A lot of guns are being purchased right now by people who already own guns.”

Goldsmith said the ongoing pandemic and civil unrest last summer are also reasons for rising sales.

Goldsmith said the protests at the Capitol last week will also cause an increase in gun sales.

Sales of firearms shot up nationwide in 2020.

According to the FBI, 21 million background checks were conducted for firearms last year.

That’s nearly a 40 percent increase from 2019.

More than 90,000 of those were in Tennessee.

According to the FBI, over 38,000 background checks were done in Mississippi, and over 31,000 were performed in Arkansas.