While the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world some people are stockpiling toilet paper and food, while Americans are flocking to buy guns.
Images and videos of people lining up outside gun stores in the United States are emerging on social media.
Amelia Adams, the US correspondent for Nine News tweeted a video of people lining up outside a gun shop in Los Angeles, with the queue trailing some 10 metres from the shop’s door down the sidewalk.
Ms Adams said in her tweet people were telling her they were “scared of what will happen if people run out of food and supplies, and they need to protect their families”.
“I have never been more thankful for my countries strict gun laws,” one person said in response to the video.
Queues to buy guns in LA 😳— Amelia Adams (@AmeliaAdams9) March 15, 2020
Buyers tell me they’re scared of what will happen if people run out of food and supplies, and they need to protect their families. We’re live on @TheTodayShow as #coronavirus panic hits LA. pic.twitter.com/2KqGPZfNo4
Another twitter user shared a video from inside a store, presumably also in California, where more than 20 people are seen in the store trying to get their hands on some ammunition.
According to CBSN, gun sales are “skyrocketing” in the San Gabriel Valley, as Asian-Americans fear they may be targeted in racial attacks due to the spread of coronavirus.
David Liu, the owner of Arcadia Firearm and Safety in the San Gabriel Valley admitted to CBSN he was worried and he recently purchased a gun for his wife.
One customer Daniel Lim said he wants his family to be able to protect themselves and he was hoping and praying a financial crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19, and potential social disorder which may follow, does not happen.
It’s not just Mr Liu who is taking such precautions. Dirk Zhang told the local news station his wife had not permitted a firearm in the home until now.
“We think it’s the perfect time to get a weapon for ourselves,” he said.
Kendall Franklin spoke to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune and said usually he waits only five minutes to get his ammunition.
Recently, he’s had to wait up to 40 minutes.
“If it gets too crazy, you want to be able to protect yourself,” Mr Franklin said.
“Everyone’s locked down for three weeks so you never know how crazy it will get.”
It’s not just groceries and guns Americans are eager to get their hands on, Raymond Prather owner of a military surplus store in Vallejo said even the store’s supplier is struggling to keep up with demand.
People are purchasing ready to eat meals to stock their pantries, meals which usually only interest hikers and campers, according to KTVU, and people are also preparing to go into survival mode by picking up medical kits and food-grade storage tubs.
“Any survival equipment because people want security, to feel like they're prepared," said Mr Prather,
“And they don't want to have to leave the house to get groceries.”
We've got a lot of guns in this country. Is there a way we can use them to fight Coronavirus? pic.twitter.com/XCBxYKr8Wh— Gustavo Sorola (@sorola) March 15, 2020
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