Offices, shops dealing with surge of gun sales, permit applications

PITTSBURGH — Gun sales are soaring in the wake of civil unrest and the upcoming presidential transition.

At times, the line for permit applications at the Allegheny County Courthouse wrapped around the building.

Stores are also dealing with a surge.

“I’m writing as fast as I can, processing forms,” Rick Genser with A-Advantage Firearms said.

Genser said his parking is often full and some days, 1,500 gun permits are processed across the state. He said customers can’t buy guns fast enough. Since last summer, sales have only continued climbing.

“I’m just watching the numbers like a speedometer and they’re going up fast now,” Genser said.

Genser said he is on hold sometimes for hours. He said a lot of it has to do with civil unrest and concerns of violence with the upcoming presidential inauguration. His walls used to be covered by firearms up to five deep at times. Now, they’re being bought up left and right.

“I started getting little old ladies, the schoolteachers, everybody else that’s anti-gun saying I’d like to have something. I want something in my house,” Genser said.

Genser said he processed 786 applications last year, a sky-high number for a mom-and-pop shop. 91 of those people bought as many as six guns at one time.

He said ammunition has also been hard to find.

“Internet sales are through the roof. UPS and FedEx trucks come here every day,” Genser said.