Sam Hango summed it up succinctly when it came to how good recent firearms sales have been at Umpqua Survival in Roseburg.

“Every day this week, we’ve made more money than we do on a typical Black Friday,” he said on Friday. “Every day.”

He’s not the only sales associate trying to withstand the influx of people in Douglas County purchasing guns and ammunition. Increased firearm sales at places like Umpqua Survival, Waldron’s Outdoor Sports and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Roseburg are trending around the nation in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Even before Oregon Gov. Kate Brown issued her “stay at home” order Monday, people around the state were making a run on firearms. Hango said at one point early Friday afternoon, approximately 1,869 firearm background checks were being done statewide.

“We were averaging five or six background checks per day before all of this happened,” store manager Carlos Ortegon said. “Now we’re running at least 14 to 15 every day.”

Signs of that showed in the store. Once-full shelves of ammunition needed restocking, and places where semi-automatic firearms once sat on display were empty.

Brown’s executive order “closes and prohibits shopping at specific categories of retail businesses, for which close personal contact is difficult to avoid, such as arcades, barber shops, hair salons, gyms and fitness studios, skating rinks, theaters, and yoga studios,” according to a press release distributed by the governor’s office.

Representatives at Waldron’s and Umpqua Survival said they feel they fill the role as an essential business and will remain open.

“As long as I know I’m getting deliveries, I’ll be here,” Ortegon said Monday.

National and worldwide events suggest people’s concern. This past week, grocery stores across the country, and even locally, ran out of items like toilet paper, canned and dry goods and bread. Stores have adjusted hours to limit the number of items people are purchasing.

Nationally, fears heightened when New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell signed a coronavirus emergency order earlier this month allowing her to ban the sale and transportation of firearms. Champaign, Illinois, Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen signed a similar order.

Sportsman’s Warehouse, located in the Roseburg Marketplace, has a much higher inventory capacity for guns and ammo than Umpqua Survival but faced similar inventory problems Friday. Some of the ammunition shelves were bare. The three associates working behind the store counter were scrambling to help the 12 people waiting for assistance or looking to make a purchase. The store was also extremely low on inventory for dried or dehydrated foods.

The store also has a posted sign outside its front door telling customers it will limit purchases of guns and ammo, powders and primers while not allowing returns on things like dehydrated foods, generators, guns, gun powders and ammo. After Brown’s announcement Monday, the store reduced its daily hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Tom Kress, co-owner of Waldron’s, faced similar problems at his store. Although he said his store has seen a 20% uptick in sales of guns and ammo, his supplier of dehydrated foods stopped distributing its product to retail outlets like his, opting instead for online-only sales.

He said the last time he remembered such an uptick in sales of guns and ammo was in December of 2012 after the re-election of former President Barack Obama. But this is the first time he’d witnessed such a run on dried foods.

“I don’t know if it was because people were scared there wouldn’t be anything left at the grocery store or if it was something else,” he said. “That’s a new one.”

Jon Mitchell is a page designer, photographer and writer for The News-Review. He can be reached by phone at 541-957-4214, or at Follow him on Twitter @byJonMitchell.

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(11) comments


The story was about the spike in gun sales, not why you think you need one or ten or a hundred. I have guns, and so do a lot of people I know. But I don't know anyone who is so fearful they had to go out and buy more guns because of Clinton, Obama, or a virus.


Better to have a gun and not need it, than need one and not have it. Just another tool in the emergency preparation kit.


A black man in the White House, an (almost) woman president, and now a virus strikes so much fear in people they have to buy more guns. Ever try to string together their logic? You can't, because there isn't any. It's 100% baseless fear of an imaginary, nonexistent threat. They're much more likely to shoot a family member, or let a child find a loaded gun and shoot someone. Those are proven facts gun huggers don't want to talk about. Especially if they're in the business of selling guns.

Remember Ignaz Semmelweis

Facts and statistics the genocide-loving gun-haters don't want to talk about:

* Democide (murder by government) is the #1 cause of unnatural death. Governments killed 262 million people in the 20th century according to research by the University of Hawaii. That does not count wars. This is exactly what the 2nd amendment was designed to protect against.

"Let's start with a number: 262 million. That's the number of unarmed people the late Prof. R. J. Rummel estimated governments murdered in mass killings he termed "democide" during the 20th century. "This democide murdered 6 times more people than died in combat in all the foreign and internal wars of the century," he wrote."

* Roughly half of the deaths by firearms each year are from people committing suicide. If somebody wants to kill themselves, do you really think the lack of a firearm is going to stop them? There are plenty of other means such as poisons, carbon monoxide poisoning, hanging, etc.

* Mass shootings are close to 100% tied to people on psychiatric drugs such as SSRI antidepressants. It is well known that these drugs cause suicidal and homicidal thoughts, so a lot of those suicides could be caused by them as well. It is also known that the potential for this adverse reaction (engaging in violence against or even killing somebody) caused by these drugs can be prevented by appropriate medical testing to detect those most prone to such reactions BEFORE prescribing these drugs. Look into the work of Dr. William Walsh to see this.

Why not mandate testing before prescribing such dangerous medications? These drugs are best- sellers making US Pharma companies many tens of billions each year, and Pharma owns the US government. Government believes it is better to protect corporate health such as Pharma's profits than its human population's health and risk Pharma profits.

Why not require safe alternatives such as amino acid and B vitamin supplementation to be tried before such dangerous medications? There is evidence they work BETTER than these meds, and the drug companies know it. That's why they release their own prescription vitamins such as Metanx for use when these drugs don't help naive patients who trust incompetent doctors who rely on dangerous drugs when safer more effective and less expensive options exist.

* Of the other half of the deaths by firearms not caused by suicide, most of those are criminals who already are not supposed to have guns killing other criminals who are not supposed to have guns. There is a lot of violence from gang-bangers and drug cartels killing each other.

* Many of the suicides by gun are US soldiers, used and abused by their own government as cannon fodder for wars to enrich corporations and thereby damaged (brain injuries are very common in this group) and left to an incompetent VA system that is incapable of helping many of them.

* People who lack training on firearm safety are more prone to get in trouble with a gun if they run across one than those who have such firearm safety training. So poor public school education is part of the problem, too.

President I'llBombYa and Hitlery Clinton both have expressed gun-grabbing anti-2nd amendment statements. They are also both fascists beholden to corporate interests bent on using the force and violence of government to market their products and make them huge profits. They both engaged in warfare escalation such as the huge increase in drone warfare and spreading warfare to Libya and Syria. They were both involved in the arming of ISIS to attack Syria's government to further their agenda of US control [vs. Russian control] over any pipelines crossing that nation. Then consider their "healthcare" legislation that does nothing meaningful to improve the human public's health but does improve corporate health by forcing unsafe, ineffective, and highly profitable medical practices on the public.

To not be alarmed by such people indicates ignorance of what they actually were doing.

This government which you seem to think is not a danger to anybody has failed to do its basic job to protect and serve the people in so many ways.

Just look at the virus crisis for one recent example. US CDC completely botched the test kits and issued orders preventing others from using non-CDC testing, thus causing what started as a small outbreak of this virus in the US to turn into a much larger one that could not be contained before they got around to fixing the test kit problem months later. The level of incompetence combined with other facts (such as CDC starting the hiring of quarantine specialists in November 2019 before the public even knew about the virus) is almost as if they knew such a crisis was coming and want millions of people to get infected and to use the virus as an excuse to trample on civil rights and get a bigger budget for themselves. Those latter two have already happened, and the millions of infections in the US will happen by April barring something truly staggering like an asteroid hitting the planet.

To think that all elements of the US government are above such actions is delusional and indicates a total lack of knowledge of history.

People are afraid of government for good reason, it has a track record of violating basic civil rights and exterminating or allowing the extermination of people who do not agree with its agenda.

They also know that even good government cannot protect them in a crisis where there are panicked and crazy people rioting or looting, and this virus crisis has the potential to become violent like that. After all, people have already physically attacked each other over toilet paper.

Any thinking person should consider all of this and conclude that some level of protection is warranted and you cannot count on even well-intentioned moral law enforcement officers to be everywhere in a moment to help you under such circumstances. They cannot do that even in the best of times.


Good to know . . . just what our law enforcement needs more dumbasses with guns to deal with.

Remember Ignaz Semmelweis

What makes you think law enforcement will even be available? "Dumbasses" without guns apparently think law enforcement is immune from the virus and can show up at a moment's notice when they are needed. Neither is true.

It would have been better to buy and train with weapons before this crisis, but better late than never.


Malaysia's medical glove factories, which make most of the world's critical hand protection, are operating at half capacity just when they're most needed. Malaysia produces 75% of the world's medical gloves. The Malaysian government ordered factories to halt all manufacturing starting March 18. They have since restarted at half production and the Malaysian government says companies must meet domestic demand before exporting anything. The FDA is advising medical providers whose stocks are dwindling or already gone: don’t change gloves between patients who have the same infectious disease, or use food grade gloves.

Gloves are just one of many types of medical equipment now in short supply in the U.S. The AP reported last week that imports of critical medical supplies including N95 masks have sharply declined in recent weeks due to factory closures in China, where manufacturers had been required to sell all or part of their supply internally rather than export to other countries.


Calls for suicide attempts or suicide threats, with or without a weapon, are up 41% since this time in 2019 and 23% from the 10 days prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.


Probably not a bad idea to stock up considering police and emergency responder services are cut way back and the jails and prisons are setting inmates free nationwide.


These people must think they have a really good aim if they are going to be able to shoot a virus!

Remember Ignaz Semmelweis

Exactly. It would have been better to have stocked up earlier. Unfortunately, many people do not have the financial means to do so and put it off until a crisis.

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