American Shoppers Queuing Around The Block For Guns Amid Coronavirus Outbreak
As the world becomes ever more tense with the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Americans have responded by queuing to buy guns.
According to reports, fears have grown among some parts of the country that the spread of the deadly disease could lead to a breakdown in society, while others believe the government will try to restrict their 'constitutional right' to own a firearm.
As a result, people have been queuing for hours to get their hands on weapons and ammunition, and local store owners say business has never been better.
David Stone runs Dong's Guns, Ammo and Reloading, where his usual sales pitch is 'welcome to the biggest selection of ammunition in all of Oklahoma'.
But speaking to The LA Times, he said: "I'm not sure I can keep on saying that. When I say sales have been booming, it's an understatement.
"You got to be protected for all sorts of stuff. Seems like the world has gone mad."
In California, paranoia is rising among some over potential government opportunism.
John Gore was part of a long line waiting outside Martin B. Retting gun shop in Culver City, over the weekend.
The 39-year-old said: "Politicians and anti-gun people have been telling us for the longest time that we don't need guns.
"But right now, a lot of people are truly scared, and they can make that decision themselves."
Others who have taken to standing in line to purchase a weapon, have cited racial tensions as an overriding factor in their decision to protect themselves.
Some in the Asian community in the San Gabriel Valley, south of Los Angeles, fear they may be targeted if there is a disintegration of law and order.
Daniel Lim, who recently bought his wife a gun from Arcadia Firearm & Safety, told CBS Los Angeles: "I do worry. I hope and pray it never happens."
Dirk Zhang also picked up a firearm for his partner, who had never allowed him to have a gun before the outbreak. He says preparing for the worst is vital at times like this.
Speaking for himself and his partner, he said: "We think it's the perfect time to get a weapon for ourselves. She's a little afraid of the outbreak of the virus."
Ammo.com, an online ammunition store, told The LA Times that sales were 68 percent higher between 23 February and 4 March, compared to the preceding 11 days - with residents in North Carolina and Georgia responsible for the most purchases.
While Kevin Lim, who runs Bulletproof Zone, told BuzzFeed that he has seen a rise in sales from 50 to 100 percent.
He said: "I think with the way things have escalated quite quickly around the world and in the US in just the last couple of weeks, it's very hard to tell what's going to happen next, and I believe it is better to be safe than sorry."
Featured Image Credit: PA