Missouri gun stores see spike in sales in wake of Ferguson riots

by The Daily Lede

Local gun stores in and around the Ferguson, Missouri area where violent street protests have taken place after the fatal shooting of an unarmed teen by a police officer, have seen a near 50 percent spike in sales since Sunday.

Steve King, owner of Metro Shooting in Bridgeton, MO says sales have spiked since protesters took the streets in Ferguson on Sunday.

“We’ve sold a variety of handguns, shotguns and AR-15s,” said King.  Adding all sales were having to do with “home defense”.

King says sales at this time of year are typically pretty slow, but the events happening in Ferguson have meant big profits.

“People are hunkering down because those events are taking place too close to their own home … in some cases, a half a mile away. Lots of people are afraid,” said King.

Al Rothweiler, owner of Mid America Arms in St Louis has shared a similar experience with increasing gun sales in the wake of the Ferguson riots.

Rothweiler estimates sales have risen by 50 percent compared with a typical day in August, and everyone purchasing a firearm has mentioned something about Ferguson.

“We were closed Sunday and Monday, but today, sales have been brisk, and the store is full of people,” said Rothweiler.

John Ham, public information officer for the Kansas City division of the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said he cannot confirm any increase in firearms purchases in the area and requests made to the FBI for stats involving firearm background checks were not returned.