Despite the record sales during the Obama administration, it seems the number of gun-owning households continued to drop during that same time. As a result, we have a lot of guns in this country, but they’re in relatively few hands. Most people who have guns own several while most don’t own any.

Yet over the last week, fears of the Covid-19 virus sparked a gun-buying surge the likes of which we’ve never seen before. One report from California suggested they were all Asians concerned with being blamed for the disease. Other folks figured it was the paranoid gun owners buying more before they couldn’t anymore.

However, it seems that it’s broader than just one ethnic group and it ain’t the usual suspects.

First it was the toilet paper and now it’s guns.

Sales are surging across the nation and it’s no different in Arkansas.

The owner of Arkansas Armory, Nathan House, told KATV he’s seeing a surge in first-time gun buyers who say coronavirus is the leading cause on why they now feel they should purchase protection.

“People are concerned, they’re seeing people at stores that are acting in ways that are less civil and then they become worried about their own family’s safety and security,” House said.

With the demand increasing, House added, the gun industry is barely able to keep up. “It’s been very limited, this isn’t just impacting central Arkansas, this is impacting the entire nation,” House explained. “When people go buy out a gun store in Nevada and they can’t resupply, and it means that we can’t get resupply either. because it’s all coming from the same distribution center.”

House said that while many are just impulse buying, many more are simply preparing for whatever may happen.

For what it’s worth, this matches what we’ve seen elsewhere and what I’ve heard from talking to folks in various gun stores all over the nation. These are new gun owners.

What does that mean for gun rights when all of this blows over?

Well, that remains to be seen. Some folks in California may well remember how difficult it was to buy a gun when they needed one and start bucking against new regulations. That may pan out across the board, actually. People who buy guns during tense times like this may well become some of the most vocal defenders of the Second Amendment out there.

It’s important, though, that we welcome these news gun owners into our ranks. That means leaving aside all non-gun politics and focusing on the things that unite us, that means trusting our Second Amendment rights to protect us when the government clearly can’t. Rally them as our allies and help those interested to become staunch advocates of our right to keep and bear arms.

We have all these new gun owners. It would be a damn shame not to recruit their help in preserving our gun rights so the next emergency won’t be the final nail in the old Second Amendment’s coffin.