In new numbers released by Pennsylvania State Police on Wednesday, more than 420,000 firearm background checks were processed between October 1 and the end of the year.
The highest total previously was 406,151, set in the third quarter of 2020. During the last quarter of 2019, 272,901 firearm background checks were processed.
"I am a first-time gun owner," said Shawn from Upper Darby. She didn't want to give her last name, but says she purchased a firearm Wednesday night "because of the climate, the state of affairs today."
"What happened just several days ago, last week, it has to do with that," she added.
Protests, politics and a looming pandemic, 2020 gave plenty of people reason to arm up. Inventory is flying off the shelves at the Delaware Valley Sports Center, coupled with an uptick in demand for handgun training.
SEE ALSO: Residents stocking up on guns amid COVID-19 outbreak
"A lot of first-time gun owners," said Robert Dulee, certified NRA instructor at Delaware Valley Sports Center.
"Pre-COVID we had a set schedule of classes. I definitely had to increase those to support the demand," said Dulee.
Firepower is also in short supply.
"It's difficult to get it in, let alone keep it stocked," said Michael Panamarenko.
Ammo is hard to come by for Mike & Kates Sport Shoppe in Summerdale.
For first time owners like Shawn, this wasn't an impulse purchase, but a chance to feel safe.
"I'm going into the range to know how to use my weapons," said Shawn. "If you buy something, you have to know how to use it properly."