Gun sales in Ferguson and surrounding areas have increased by 50 percent in recent weeks, as residents and law enforcement alike prepare for what might come from the grand jury’s ruling of Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot teenage Michael Brown.
“So maybe I get trapped here or something and have to have a John Wayne shootout,” said Dan McMullen, the owner of an insurance agency located near the site of the August shooting death of Brown, 18, CNNreported. “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.”
Metro Shooting Supplies owner Steven King said that gun sales over the weekend skyrocketed from 30 to about 100, and that fear is the driving factor for the purchases.
“A lot of black people [are] coming in, saying they are afraid of the hooliganism,” Mr. King said, CNN reported. “But not all of Ferguson is hooliganism. 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.”
Meanwhile, police are preparing for rising tensions and possibly, more violence, as the grand jury goes into decision mode and rules whether there is enough evidence to pursue charges against Officer Wilson for the shooting death of Brown.
“It only takes one in 10 with bad intentions to make the entire situation spiral out of control,” Sgt. Brian Schellman, of the St. Louis County Police Department, told CNN. “A few protesters take it above and beyond not just aimed at police anymore, but sometimes these threats are going against police officers’ families.”
The grand jury has until January to decide whether to indict or not to indict. But many case watchers say they could come out with a decision this month.