FORT MYERS, Fla — Southwest Florida gun shop owners are seeing a major shortage of guns and ammunition ahead of Wednesday's presidential inauguration.
Mark Fiacable, owner of Florida FFL gun store, says that the riots at the U.S. Capitol building earlier this month are partly to blame.
"Since the election and since the stuff that happened at the beginning of the month in the capitol and the inauguration coming up and stuff, people have really been scrambling to find what’s left of the guns and ammunition," explains Fiacable.
He says fear and panic play a major role.
"People are afraid. They see that happening and they don’t know what’s going to happen going forward," says Fiacable.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation performed over 39 million firearm background checks last year. This is 11 million more background checks than 2019.
Fiacable says that he has seen many first-time gun owners purchase firearms at his shop. The demand from new owners and existing owners is causing a huge shortage of ammunition.
"We get dozens of phone calls and stop-ins to the store a day of people looking for just ammunition and they can't find it anywhere. And so it's just like the toilet paper run. Everybody gets afraid that they’re not going to be able to get any so when they do find it, they take all of it," says Fiacable.
Empty shelves and empty-handed buyers are the norm nowadays as the low supply from manufacturers cant meet the high demand. Fiacable says it was once easy to re-stock and re-order whatever he needed, but now he has to ration his supplies.
'If we get any in, it would all be gone within a matter of minutes if we let it but we have to keep ammo available so we can at least sell a box with a gun because we don’t think it's fair to sell a gun to somebody without any ammunition because most of them are new gun buyers," says Fiacable.
And as the chaos continues and concerns for safety rise with the start of a new government on the hill, Ficable says he doesn't see the shortage ending anytime soon.
"You hear things about what the new administration might try to do to limit gun purchases, to limit magazines, to regulate to make it harder to get things. And then that makes people even more afraid. They want to get it before they can’t," says Fiacable.