Residents in Kenosha are flocking to their local gun shops. Gun sales are sky rocketing in the Wisconsin town after a week of unrest.
Protesters took to the streets in a series of clashes with police and local business owners after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. A video went viral August 23 showing an altercation between Blake and responding police officers. Police officers shot Blake seven times in the back as he tried to enter a SUV, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Kenosha Professional Police Association said Blake had been armed with a knife. The officers also shot him with two tasers but failed to subdue him, according to NPR.
Blake remains in the hospital, paralyzed from the waist down, according to The Guardian. Kenosha has experienced several violent incidents over the past week. Rioters have looted and burned down several businesses. The Wisconsin governor also declared a state of emergency and accepted assistance from the National Guard.
On August 25, two people were killed and a third injured on a busy street. Police arrested 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse and charged him with first-degree homicide for the incident.
Gun stores sold their entire stocks to Kenosha residents.
The LaJoy Precision Inc, in nearby Pleasant Prairie, sold its complete stock of handguns, shotguns, and all ammunition. They’ve received around 150 calls per day.
Owner Joseph LaJoy told TMZ the majority of sales came from people who previously did not own guns. They wanted to protect themselves and their homes.
In Lake Vila, IL, the gun store Red Dot sold around 100 firearms in a day. According to the manager, they’re close to selling out. Frantic customers also acted poorly when they learned Illinois has a 72-hour waiting period on guns.
The 5 Star Firearms in Zion, IL, also sold all of their rifles, handguns and ammo after only two days. According to the manager, thousands of residents visited the store from Kenosha and Lake County, Rittenhouse’s hometown.
A similar situation happened at the Outdoorsman Sports Shop in Winthrop Harbor, IL. As a result, the store sold out of all their handgun ammunition.