A lot of people were buying guns in New Mexico during the pandemic.
“We have had ladies in their 80s come in here wanting to buy a shotgun,” said the staff of Las Cruces Gun Store Miller Guns and Ammo.
According to FBI data analyzed by Target 7, more than 200,000 guns were sold in our state last year. The data comes from the number of background checks that were performed.
That is an increase of 28 percent from 2019, and it’s the most firearms sold, in the last two decades.
“I enjoy guns. Some guns I like better than others,” said Don Hillis who was shopping Thursday at the Las Cruces Gun Store. “I never met one I didn’t like.”
In 2020, New Mexico was 21st in the nation in the number of guns sold per capita.
“New Mexicans love their guns and they always have,” the staff said.
COVID-19, the gun debate that occurred during the presidential election, and crime are the reasons why sales increased nationally.
“Whenever anybody comes in and starts talking about restrictions on it, it drives everything up,” the staff indicated. “Even people who never wanted a gun are wanting a gun now.”
They also noticed that more women were coming into his shop.
“A 21-year-old girl who just turned 21, dad comes in and says, Hey I am going to buy my daughter something because she needs something to protect herself,’” The staff said.
And more people were buying handguns, than any other firearm. Sixty-two percent of the guns sold in 2020, were handguns.
Twenty years ago, those counted for less than 40 percent of all gun sales.
“The overall message everybody is getting now is that got to protect themselves cause no one else is going to do it,” The staff at the Las Cruces Gun Store Miller Guns and Ammo concluded.