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Firearm, ammo sales in MT hit ‘absolutely insane’ record numbers | State & Regional

“There’s been days where I get 50-100 calls asking if we have ammo,” he said. “We’re about three-and-a-half miles out of the population hub, so I understand people wanting to call ahead before they come out, but it can be kind of infuriating.”

It’s gotten to the point where even hearing-protection and gun-cleaning supplies are being wiped out.

“It’s just unprecedented,” he said. “It’s a crazy perfect storm of COVID shutdowns and the election.”

According to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System database, there have been 155,604 firearm background checks conducted in Montana through Nov. 30 of 2020. That’s a record, and a big jump from the 115,823 seen in all of 2019. The previous record was 137,830 in 2013.

Frankie Brown, an owner at Rim Rock Bullets in Polson, says his company has 10 million bullets on backorder right now.

“Last year at this time it was 2 million,” he said. “We’re five times busier this year. It’s COVID. Everyone’s panicking, and then right after the elections we were four times to eight times busier than usual. The day after the election our Internet sales jumped.”

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Buyers are coming from “every state in the Union,” he said, even though they don’t do a whole lot of advertising.

“In 2019 we would ship orders out in 3-5 days, now we’re at five and a half weeks on shipping,” he explained. “We’re getting bulk orders, anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 pieces, with some ordering 20,000 to 30,000 once in a while. That’s not including contracts and commercial accounts.”

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