New data from the FBI shows there have been more than 19.1 million firearm background checks across the country so far in 2020, which is more than double the total of 2019.
Experts said the surge is due to the pandemic and politics.
Businesses like Bear Beam Firearms in Tulsa told News On 6 it is hard to stay stocked, while firearms instructors and shooting ranges in Green Country said they are also busy.
Charles Peters, owner of Safe Home Consulting and co-owner of Bear Beam Firearms, said he thinks COVID-19 is the reason he has had more first-time buyers than he has seen in 10 years.
"So they started getting fearful, and that always stimulates a buying frenzy in this industry,” said Peters. “Then, the stimulus money kind of kept it going, and then the riots validated every fear that they had and made them buy more."
Staff at Tulsa Gun Club said there has been a spike in interest. Dan King, one of three instructors, said there is double the demand for conceal carry classes, as well as new training.
"People are truly and genuinely enjoying it, so not only are they doing it for self-defense, but they're actually coming out to shoot for fun,” said King. “They come out to shoot target. We have some steel out here."
Mike Westerman of Owasso said he became a gun owner when he saw riots and looting around the country. Now, he is taking a conceal carry class and encourages others to look into it if they're interested.
"If you're going the right way, as far as purchasing it through a reputable place, getting through training and, again, we use it for protection," said Westerman.
There are pending proposed laws on gun safety at the national and state levels.
Everyone interviewed in this report also stressed the importance of training and safe storage for gun users.