Why gun sales soar during economic downturns

Why gun sales soar during economic downturns

I was talking with some relatives the other day and mentioned that it feels like we’re living in a crazy movie with all that is happening in our world: massive unemployment, plagues, uncertainty everywhere, government stay-home orders, etc.  And this on top of the already-ever-present geopolitical dramas harassing our safety.

When COVID-19 suddenly visited the world with its silent entry, many in the prepper community saw the writing on the wall and quickly topped-off their food supplies.  For the rest of society, though, it wasn’t until the President of the United States addressed the nation about COVID-19 that they began to take serious notice. 

What ensued was a mad rush on grocery stores.  Buyers emptied shelves of paper products, meats, canned goods, pasta, eggs, and just about any other essential good.  Nervousness was in the air — and palpable.  American grocery stores began looking like scenes from socialist Venezuela as shoppers stared at aisle after aisle of empty shelves.

Then came the layoffs.  With government-mandated stay-home orders and a new culture of social distancing, the market-place was forced to navigate a new world.  The NBA canceled the remainder of its season.  March Madness came to a hault.  The Olympics even hit the pause button.  Any industry relying on crowds lurched to stop: cinemas, arts venues, restaurants, bars, hotels, conventions, etc.  When the Governor of Idaho issued a stay-home order, only a few essential industries were allowed to remain open including hospitals for medical care, grocery stores for food, Melaleuca for hand sanitizer, and other emergency services. Because of the state’s order, massive amounts of workers suddenly found themselves without jobs. 

With a near-total shutdown of the economy, global stock markets took deep dives day after day.  Uncertainty took hold in the hearts of every community and in the home of every family.


With the panic-buying of food, society started buying-up anything else that could possibly be helpful in a total societal meltdown.  Prepping was instantly in vogue.  With that, gun sales soared.  As did sales for gold and silver, heirloom seeds, and even baby chicks!   

Already a sensitive topic, gun sales took a heated position in the conversation about which “essential” businesses should be allowed to stay open during government stay-home orders.  Gun shops argued that they were considered essential and therefore should remain open. After intense pressure from communities and government leaders, most gun shops capitulated and “temporarily” closed . . . to the disappointment of gun advocates who said that being forced to do so would be a direct infringement on Second Amendment rights.


The reasons people choose to purchase guns in a panic-buying scenario are varied.  Some people see the purchase as a way to simply protect their family and supplies in a SHTF scenario.  Others purchase because they see scarcity in the item.  The same thing is particularly true with precious metals.  People who wouldn’t normally purchase precious metals in good times suddenly feel “pressure” to purchase when journalists begin reporting severe shortages in gold and silver.


With any emergency or crisis situation the most important preparedness element is to keep your wits about you.  Be methodical and deliberate with your decisions. Plan well and strategic opportunities to acquire necessary supplies will come your way.  When those opportunities manifest, you must have the courage to act.  If you don’t, you may find yourself waiting months for another opportunity to buy.

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