“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (1) – 6/2/20
According to Montana Public Radio, gun and ammunition sales across the U.S. were the highest on record this May, with over 3 million background checks logged by the FBI. To date, there have been over 15 million background checks in 2020, on pace to eclipse last year’s high of 28 million. Montana is no exception, as COVID-19 and national protest anxieties boil over. “I would say at least two-thirds of the record number of firearms sold in the last 60 days are first-time gun owners/gun purchasers,” James Zimmerman, owner and general manager of Missoula’s Selway Armory, told MTPR, adding customers regularly mention the pandemic and the “growing social unrest following the alleged murder of George Floyd” at the hands of police in Minneapolis. “People are concerned about their safety, you know?,” Zimmerman said. “They feel that, as we’ve seen with these riots, the government cannot always protect you.” The gun shop owner anticipates no slowdown for the immediate future.