The local gun stores in the St. Louis region have witnessed a significant surge, i.e. up to 700 percent, in the sales of firearms ahead of the decision in the indictment case involving white police officer Darren Wilson, who has killed an unarmed African-American teen in August this year.
Gun store Metro Shooting Supplies, located near Ferguson, said that it has sold 250 firearms this week, which is a 700 percent spike in sales. On usual days, the store sells between 30 and 40 firearms per week.
“These people are afraid. 100 percent of them are buying guns because of Ferguson,” said Metro Shooting Supplies owner Steve King.
Meanwhile, the residents awaited a grand jury decision anxiously on whether it will indict Wilson for killing youth Michael Brown.
The unfortunate shooting incident sparked a series of protests, followed by several arrests, calling for the white Ferguson government officials to represent and respond to the serious concerns of the majority-black city.
The officials and residents in Missouri are more concerned about the situation following the pronunciation of the verdict by the St. Louis County grand jury in the case.
As a cautionary measure, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued a bulletin warning that the court’s decision may trigger violence and fierce attacks on the personnel of law enforcement.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) on Monday pre-emptively declared a state of emergency, while activating the National Guard as cautionary measure. Meanwhile, Ku Klux Klan leaders have said that they will use “lethal force” against the violent protesters.
Another St. Louis firearms shop Defensor Tactical said that it is significantly engaged in the business of custom rifles and body armor.
“We’re a smaller shop in a small section of St. Louis, but we have a constant flow of business. Our volume of sales has definitely increased — not to the order of what we saw right after Sandy Hook, but it’s definitely a constant flow. Lot of interest,” John Heidbrink, a store staff, said.
The law enforcement personnel have faced severe criticism in August when they had deployed tear gas and riot gear in order to control the protesters.