The whole world watched this week as Ferguson, Missouri erupted into a violent nightmare. It all started on August 9 when a local police officer shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. Details of the confrontation between Officer Darren Wilson and the teenager remain uncertain. Witnesses report that Brown and Wilson were obviously having a conflict near the police car and then Wilson pulled out his weapon and shot the unarmed teen. Some say they saw Brown raise his hands in surrender and others insist that he was not attacking the police officer and the shooting was unnecessary. In the wake of Brown’s death, protests began all over the city and it quickly spiraled into violent rioting and looting.

Protestors continue to clash with police officers in Ferguson and now local bystanders are taking action to protect their homes and families. Local gun shops report a massive surge in gun sales over the past week as citizens arm themselves against looters. Steven King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies said people are “scared to death” and it is driving his sales through the roof. “People are coming in with fear in their eyes and they’re saying they need something to protect their house,” said King.

Since Brown was killed, King said his shop has sold up to 50 guns per day. Customers are buying a variety of firearms with popular choices including shotguns, AR-15s, Glocks, and Rugers. Some are asking for handguns that are easily concealed. Along with the guns, Metro Shooting Supplies has sold a “boatload” of ammunition. King said some customers admitted to cleaning out their savings accounts in order to buy guns and ammo. Others were charging the purchases to credit cards. Everyone was in a hurry to find weapons for self-defense after a nearby convenience store was burned down this week. “They did not even have this in their thought process until the QuickTrip started burning down in their backyard,” said King.

In nearby St. Louis, Mid America Arms is also seeing a boost in gun sales. Co-owner Al Rothweiler told reporters that sales are up 50 percent since Brown was killed. “They’re taking personal responsibility for their own well-being,” Rothweiler explained. “As much as I think we have a very good law enforcement community, they can’t be everywhere for everybody.”

Until officials manage to get a handle on the violent protestors in Ferguson, citizens are taking steps to insure that they stay safe from the riots. It’s unfortunate that it takes a major tragedy like this to wake people up to the need for adequate home defense.

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