Gun and ammunition gross sales stay sturdy in Colorado Springs through the COVID-19 pandemic
REGINA, Colo. (KRDO) – Fears of a society collapse due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impending transition to a new presidential administration continue to result in strong demand for and shortage of firearms and ammunition.
Mel Bernstein, owner of the Dragonman shooting range, paintball range, gun sales and museum, said this was the most prosperous period in the industry in his 40 years living here.
As further evidence of the strong sales in the industry, Bernstein said he makes an AR-15 rifle that has generated more than 200 orders, with the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office among his clients.
“They are called dragon fire rifles,” he said. “I can’t keep up with the demand. I’ve sent them all over the US. I make them semi-automated and fully automated.”
Bernstein said he is the only gun manufacturer in Colorado and holds a Class 7 license that allows him to specialize in automatic and semi-automatic weapons.
“My AR-15 has the heaviest and thickest barrel on the market,” he said. “The heavier the barrel, the more accurate the bullet. It has a tailor-made flash suppressor. No other AR-15 has this. This makes the rifle easier and faster to shoot.”
Bernstein plans to manufacture at least two more rifle models in the future.
“This week we finally got gun and ammunition orders, some that we haven’t seen in a while,” he said.
But he also had many empty boxes. Gun owner Tyrone Hunter found this out time and again in his search for ammunition.
“I’ve checked five or six times since the pandemic started and came back empty-handed,” he said.
Tammy Spellman, owner of Springs Armory in Colorado Springs, said the increase in sales had little or no slowing.
“We had about a week when it slowed down,” she said. “But that ended when the riots and protests started after the death of George Floyd. People wanted more protection.”
According to Spellman, the background check time for gun customers has increased from a few hours to a few days. Around 5,000 Coloradans waited for the controls to be completed on Friday.
“I keep wondering how much longer this can take and I don’t know,” she said. “But it’s a nice problem when so many companies have problems.”
Some gun owners said the ammunition shortage had doubled or tripled its price.
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