Politics & Policy

Missouri Gun Store Owners: Our Customers Are Terrified, But Not of the Cops

(Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Gun store owners say the hundreds of customers they have had this week support the police.

Owners of gun shops near Ferguson, Missouri say that of the hundreds of terrified people who have flooded into their stores within the past week, not a single one has criticized the police presence in the area.

“Not one customer has come in and complained about the police being too militaristic, I don’t even know where that came from,” Steven King, the owner of Metro Shooting in Bridgetown, tells National Review Online.

“A lot of our customers up there yesterday were giving the police free food just to help them out.”

Al Rothweiler, owner of Mid America Arms in St. Louis, says the hundreds who have come into his store have expressed similar sentiments.

“The fear of the police, I think that’s very unfounded,” he says. “We’ve had absolutely nobody express any fear of the police.”

Rothweiler says his sales have doubled this week, and that people of all ages, races and genders have made purchases.

King says sales at his store have “quadrupled.”

“We have had single moms, we have had retired people, young people, black people, Asian people,” he says. “This is not a racial issue. This is a human issue. People are scared to death for their own life.”

Both King and Rothweiler say many of this week’s customers were buying a gun for the first time. In fact, King says his store’s first-time-shooter training class is full through September.

“In one week, we filled up 45 days worth of lessons,” he says.  

Metro Shooting is a little more than 8 miles away from Ferguson, and Mid America is about 15.

— Katherine Timpf is a reporter for National Review Online.

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