• Press Release

Increased Gun Sales and Gun Stores Recognized as “Essential Businesses” Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Will Lead to More Violence

March 31, 2020

BURBANK, CA - MARCH 17: Shoppers wait in line to purchase ammunition and guns at Gun World in Burbank on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 as US sales of guns and ammunition soar amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images)
In response to reports of increased gun sales and gun stores being considered “essential businesses” amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Ernest Coverson, campaign manager for the End Gun Violence Campaign at Amnesty International USA (AIUSA) released the following statement: 

“With the increase in firearms sales due to COVID-19 and 4.6 million children who already live in households with a firearm, staying at home may be safe for some but poses a new threat to many children. As recently as last week, we’ve seen accidental shootings happen already in Arizona, Kentucky, Missouri, and Oregon, which have claimed the lives of children as young as 3 years-old.”

“Instead of taking aggressive measures to curb gun violence, the federal government has again prioritized gun ownership over the basic right to live in safety and listed firearms as essential and critical to pandemic infrastructure. Gun retailers are not essential businesses and should not remain open during this pandemic.” 

“With hospitals at critically low capacity due to the pandemic, we can not afford more injuries or deaths from gun violence. The federal government has made a mistake that will only lead to more lives lost because of senseless gun violence.” 

To learn more about COVID-19 and human rights, visit: https://www.amnestyusa.org/distant-but-together-responding-to-covid-19/

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Mariya Parodi, [email protected]