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Coronavirus

Increased protection: Guns, ammunition in high supply during coronavirus scare

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ROCK FALLS – Business is more bust than boom lately, but not for sellers of firearms and ammunition.

The coronavirus scare is making more people “afraid and wanting to protect their families and home,” said Ed Branch of Rigler’s Sports Supply.

Customers have “swamped” Rigler’s in the last 2 weeks: Gun sales are up 400%, and ammo sales “have gone through the roof,” Branch said.

“Inventory cannot be replaced due to the high demand nationwide and distributors being out of stock,” he said.

Gun shops are deemed to be essential businesses “for purposes of safety and security,” according to COVID-19 Executive Order 8, enacted by Gov. J.B. Pritzker last week.

Farm and Fleet in Sterling doesn’t sell guns, just ammunition. It’s flying off of the shelves lately, as is toilet paper and animal feed, assistant manager Dani Buske said. The demand is causing a delay in supplies getting from warehouse to store.

When ammunition arrived Saturday, customers were rummaging through boxes as they were en route to the sales area.

Now ammo, like other hard-to-stock items at the store, is limited to two per item per day at Farm and Fleet.

“They think they need to stock up for a long time,” Buske said. “Because of their increased buying habits, we’re having trouble keeping our floor stock.”

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