GRAND JUNCTION, Colo.
The FBI reported 3.9 million Americans applied for firearms in June, setting a new record. The second amendment grants you the right to bear arms, if you can find them. Tyerek Kirkland is a gun expert at the Rocky Mountain Gun Club (RMGC) in Grand Junction and he says, “It’s getting kind of hard to buy guns these days, we’re running out of them.”
For the last 229 years the second amendment has given us the right to bear and keep arms, but never in history have so many registered. “At the beginning, we were up over about 13,000 folks at one given time trying to buy a firearm in the state of Colorado,” says Kirkland. That was in March 2020 when 3.7 million Americans took background checks, a lot of them first time buyers from fear fueled by COVID-19, but what about June? Kirkland says, “Now, we’re down a little over 2,000. Taking about two and a half, three days to get a background check.”
The reason isn’t lack of consumer interest, it’s lack of supply. The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) says the two hundred thousand more applications in June versus March is a 135.7% increase compared to last year, and the increase in demand has stripped the shelves.
Earl Almond is a customer stocking up on ammo at the (RMGC) and he says, “If, in the future, it becomes impossible to get ammunition, guns, and stuff, I just want a little more in my home. Stock up a little bit.” Kirkland comments on the manufacturers trying to keep up with the demand, “They are taking quite a bit longer than usual. So, bear with us if you’re trying to get a firearm. It’s taking anywhere up to months.”
One thing you may not know about the (RMGC) is they have the only indoor shooting range between Denver and Salt Lake City, and there are three of them. An archery range, a firearm shooting range, and a shooting range for competitions. Tyerek also says the shooting ranges aren’t just for members, and you can always try a firearm before you buy it. Earl offers advice to the novice. “Hook up with experienced people, and learn what feels good, what you wanna do, and that way you’re not changing so much when you start buying guns. You decide you don’t like one, you have to sell it. Different things work with different people,” says Almond.
Tyerek says training is best for both beginner and seasoned shooter. “It’s more valuable than the tool you have.” He also comments about how choosing non-lethal means to defend you and your family is always the better option. Tyerek says, “I myself have been pepper sprayed a few times. The stuff works really well!”