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Sunday, January 24, 2021

'I want to be prepared': gun sales spike in Texas

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'I want to be prepared': gun sales spike in Texas
'I want to be prepared': gun sales spike in Texas

Civil unrest and the upcoming presidential election have Texans, like Teanna Walker, a retired marine, scrambling for ammunition and guns.

This report produced by Yahaira Jacquez.

Teana Walker is a 55-year-old retired Marine and now owner of a handgun and AR-15 rifle.

"I just want to be prepared for whatever changes come, whether it be in the law, whether they're trying to mess with the constitutional rights of the people." The lifelong Houston resident bought the gun at Full Armor Firearms. 22-year-old Mekhi Barnes walked her through how to manipulate the weapon.

Barnes says since the coronavirus pandemic began, he's seen a flood of people - like Walker - come into the store looking for guns and ammunition.

"Recently, especially with the civil unrest in the country, we've definitely seen a spike, a second spike in sales since the coronavirus.

So, I believe that's it.

It's a lot of people finally realizing that they're not as safe as they think, especially in their own neighborhood." It's not an isolated case.

As anxiety surges over the coronavirus pandemic, protests over racial injustice and an increasingly contentious presidential race... guns sales across America have soared this year.

FBI data disclosed earlier this month showed its background check system has become overwhelmed... causing checks to be delayed and allowing gun sales to proceed without them.

That worries gun control advocacy groups - like Everytown for Gun Safety, which obtained the data through a Freedom of Information Act request - because it means thousands of people prohibited by law from owning guns, may have obtained them as the FBI background check was delayed.

For gun reform advocates like Gabriella Diaz, a volunteer for Moms Demand Action - the Houston chapter for Everytown, background checks are crucial.

"I've yet to meet a gun owner who disagrees with me on issues like disarming domestic abusers and having a criminal background check for every gun sale." Everytown is investing $8 million in advertising in Texas during the election, hoping it's a winning issue in a conservative state long associated with gun rights.

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