“People Are Coming In With Fear In Their Eyes”: Gun Sales Skyrocket In Ferguson

August 15, 2014  |  

Smoke bombs, tear gas, rubber bullets, stun grenades, armor-clad police, and enraged protesters: A grave picture of Ferguson from the past couple of days. In upheaval after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown last Saturday, the Missouri city is experiencing an surge in gun sales.

While Ferguson businesses have been grappling with riots and looting, there are a few establishments that are reaping the benefits of fear, panic and terror in the St. Louis area: Gun shops. Ammunition and firearms have been selling like hot cakes, CNN Money reports.

“People are coming in with fear in their eyes and they’re saying they need something to protect their house,” said Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies, a gun shop in the St. Louis suburb of Bridgeton. “They’re scared to death.”

King says he usually sells a handful of guns in one day. But since the uproar, which began on Sunday in the predominantly Black city, the gun owner has sold 50.

“They did not even have this in their thought process until the QuickTrip started burning down in their backyard,” said King, referring to the convenience shop that burned down after the Saturday night shooting of Brown. King says customers are coming in for AR-15s, concealable handguns, semi-auto pistols like Rugers and Glocks, and guns with high capacity magazines, holding more than 10 rounds.

Desperate to buy firepower to protect themselves, King says customers are draining their savings and charging their credit cards.

Al Rothweiler, who co-owns Mid America Arms in St. Louis, also reports a surge in gun sales — by 50 percent. Rothweiler, of course, welcomes the new influx of customers.

“They’re taking personal responsibility for their own well-being,” Rothweiler said. “As much as I think we have a very good law enforcement community, they can’t be everywhere for everybody.”

Rothweiler told CNN Money that he feels “sadness and disappointment that our society is truly capable of doing such things.”

This morning, the St. Louis County Police Department revealed that Darren Wilson was the officer that shot and killed Michael Brown, a college-bound unarmed teen with no criminal history and no weapon.

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