As fears of post-election violence rise, gun sales are spiking. In some areas, sales of firearms are up 500% from this time last year. And women are among those arming themselves for the first time.
Laurie White recently shopped for the first gun she’s ever purchased. She told Inside Edition she never thought about owning a weapon until now.
“It's just a crazy time right now, with all of the upheaval with the pandemic,” White said.
Nurse Linda Jefferson has bought two firearms since the start of the pandemic and is looking to purchase another.
"I just felt I needed more protection,” Jefferson told Inside Edition. She said she sleeps with her shotgun under her bed following recent disturbances in Los Angeles.
Janice Hernandez, an experienced gun owner, is also looking to add to her personal weapon arsenal.
"It's important to be able to protect yourself, to protect your family, when there's so much unrest,” Hernandez told Inside Edition.
Gun sales to women are up 40% compared to the same time last year, with an estimated 2 million women buying their first firearm in 2020, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The spike can be attributed to jitters over the pandemic, the growing crime rate and the looming election.
Emily Atkinson owns Ade’s Gun Shop in Orange County, California. She told Inside Edition that safety is always a priority, especially when selling to new customers.
“They look for the convenience, they look for color, they look for the aesthetics, probably. They want it to look good. Some women are bad and they want a mean-looking gun, but I try to show them the gun for them,” Atkinson said.