Source : SCMP

  • Pandemic sparks concerns of unravelling social order, leading to surge in sales of firearms and ammo
  • Buyers include large number of Asian-Americans, some fearful of racist backlash to outbreak

David Stone snagged a cardboard box of .223-calibre ammunition from the shelf and slid it across the glass worktop, offering his go-to sales pitch: “Welcome to the biggest selection of ammunition in all of Oklahoma.”

“I’m not sure I can keep on saying that,” Stone said, explaining that the supply of goods at Dong’s Guns, Ammo and Reloading has been seriously depleted over the last few days.

“When I say sales have been booming,” he said, “it’s an understatement.”

Gun sales are surging in many US states, especially in those hit hardest by the coronavirus – California, New York and Washington.

But there has also been an uptick in less-affected areas, with some first-time gun buyers fearing an unravelling of the social order and some gun owners worried that the government might use its emergency powers to restrict gun purchases.

Stone’s packed store shares a small strip of road with a church, a cemetery and another gun shop, and in recent days he has sold several firearms to truckers travelling along Interstate 44 here in Oklahoma.

One trucker, who was headed to Arizona, bought US$2,500 worth of firearms and ammunition, and another trucker, who was headed to Illinois, dropped US$200 on ammunition alone.

“You got to be protected for all sorts of stuff,” Stone said. “Seems like the world has gone mad.”

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