Gun sales hike in Missouri after violent protests


Gun sales in Missouri have increased in the past few weeks amid the unrest over a grand jury decision to exonerate a white police officer in the death of an African-American teenager.

Gun shop owners said that firearm sales in the St. Louis area, which is adjacent to Ferguson, have increased sixfold in recent weeks.

Gun sales hike in Missouri after violent protests

Thousands of people have protested in over 100 US cities for several nights after a grand jury in St. Louis failed to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson on August 9.

The Ultimate Defense Firing Range and Training Center in St Louis typically sells three to five guns a day, but in recent weeks, it says the number has risen to 20 or 30.

“We’ve seen a tremendous run on hand guns, specifically, because people have an element of fear with what’s going on in Ferguson,” said owner and active duty police officer Paul Bastean.

“Some of them that live in that area definitively are here because they are afraid. Especially two nights ago when there were gunshots all over,” he added.

Bastean said his company sold 33 guns and shooters fired 18,000 rounds on the practice range Tuesday, the day after protests in Ferguson turned into arson, looting and violence.

Brown’s death in August sparked weeks of protests and further fueled racial tensions between the majority-black city of Ferguson and the majority-white city government and police.

African-Americans are significantly more likely than whites to be the victims of the gun homicide, according to a study released in July by the Pew Research Center.


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