Guns and ammunition are flying off the shelves in Illinois, new data shows. Americans have been loading up with weapons amid the Covid-19 outbreak and the riots sparked by the death of George Floyd.
More than 42,000 State of Illinois residents applied for a gun permit between June 1 and June 17, compared to just around 7,000 during the same period last year, the Chicago Tribune reports, citing police statistics. At the same time, the amount of applications filed in the first two weeks of June is close to the number of applications submitted in December, January and February combined.
Gun shops confirmed to the paper that locals are stocking up with guns and ammunition at a previously unseen rate, with one dealer saying that sales had jumped from an average of 10 guns a day last year up to 200 a day now.
Fox Business previously reported that over 1.72 million guns were sold in May across the country, a record-breaking 80 percent increase from last year.
Americans began lining up to buy more guns since mid-March, when states and cities were imposing initial quarantine measures, in an effort to slow down the spread of Covid-19. Gun sales grew further during the fierce rioting and looting in major US cities, which took place after the death last month of black man George Floyd during an arrest attempt by a white police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The unrest followed massive anti-racism and police brutality protests.
There have been calls by activists and some politicians to “defund the police,” along with multiple reports of officers calling in sick or leaving the force altogether due to a spike in anti-police sentiment.
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