Lately, Dan McMullen has been bringing an extra gun to his office in Ferguson, Missouri.
McMullen runs Solo Insurance on West Florissant close to where looting and vandalism briefly broke out in early August after a police officer shot to death teenager Michael Brown.
“I bring an extra gun now only because it has a bigger magazine,” McMullen says. He began carrying it after tensions increased in the area following the shooting. He says he would never use it to protect his business, but he would use it to save his life.
“So maybe I get trapped here or something and have to have a John Wayne shootout,” McMullen says before interrupting himself, smiling. “That’s the silly part about it: Is that going to happen? Not a chance. But I guess, could it? I’m the only white person here.”
McMullen is particularly cautious now, as all of Ferguson and much of the nation waits to see whether a grand jury will indict Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting. Though the grand jury has until January to issue its ruling, the prosecutor’s office has said a decision could come in mid-November.
McCullen warns others considering getting a gun not to be reckless. When his adult son told him he wanted a gun to protect himself after the grand jury decision, McMullen warned him not to rush into it.
“People like him need to think about it, and not think about ‘I’m worried about this stuff,’ “ McMullen says.
On Monday, Steven King, who owns Metro Shooting Supplies told CNN that customers bought 100 guns this weekend. A typical weekend brings in about 30 buyers.
“People are afraid they are gonna throw Molotov cocktails,” says King, referring to the mostly nonviolent protests that have taken place in Ferguson since the shooting.
The increase in gun sales reaches across racial and ethnic lines, he says.
“A lot of black people coming in saying they are afraid of the hooliganism,” he says.
“But not all of Ferguson is hooliganish. The media portrays us that way. If the world can just see this is one little street in Ferguson going crazy, they’d understand that we’re not just one big burning city.”
At Metro Shooting Range in nearby Bridgeton, Missouri, manager John Stephenson says gun sales are up 40 to 50% as of last week.
And lots of folks are coming in to the gun range for training, which he says is important for new gun owners.
“Every time that door opens, we’re seeing new faces,” Stephenson says. Many new customers tell him they’re concerned about the response to the grand jury decision.
The bulk of the weapons sold to new buyers are home defense shotguns. “We’ve sold tons,” he says.
Source: Valley News Live