MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Gun dealers in Minnesota attribute a surge in firearms sales to anxiety over the coronavirus, civil unrest and the uncertainties involving the presidential race.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation says there were about 21,900 background checks for gun purchases in Minnesota in August of 2019.

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This year, there were nearly 35,000 in the same month. Gun shop owners say the surge in gun and ammunition sales began in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic lead to panic buying, as it did with some household supplies.

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George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in May and the protests and violence that followed only accelerated gun and ammunition purchases.

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