CHICAGO (CBS) — Guns are flying off the shelves right now.
Sales have been spiking across the country, with people looking to protect themselves and their property because of the unrest, violence, and damage we’ve seen for days following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.
But CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported Wednesday night, it’s not just gun sales that are up.
With many concerned about safety right now, requests for short-term, armed private security are up, and we’re told more people are working to get concealed carry licenses.
“We have had mass hysteria,” said Anthony Colonna of the Article II Gun Shop and Range.
The empty glass shelves and spaces on the wall tell the story.
“We actually had to hold people outside,” Colonna said.
Colonna, the manager of the Lombard gun shop and range, told us people of all walks of life are traveling there from all over the area to get their hands on a gun – any gun.
“People are coming in, ‘I don’t have this one.’ They’re like, ‘Hey, I’ll take the next one down the line,’ not really caring what it is,” Colonna said. “Just something to protect themselves.”
He said the concerns Article II Gun Shop and Range has heard are related to images from over the weekend and into this week – of violence, destruction, and looting.
Those images are behind nonstop calls for immediate private armed security.
“Private businesses, mom-and-pop shops, hair salons, churches,” said Rudy Medrano of RM Global Security.
And we’re told it’s at a premium right now.
“We have to remember the guard is a human being as well,” Medrano said, “not the end-all.”
We found this past April, the FBI ran more than 70 percent more sales-related background checks than last year. Illinois was one of the four states with the highest number of background checks, and with those increases come concerns.
We know some of those first time gun buyers are calling for training.
“They’re desperate-sounding, ‘When can we do the training?’” said Daniel Conidi of Def Con Training Firearms.
Shooting instructors like Conidi’s phones are ringing off the hook.
“I’m scheduling as best I can, but we only have so much space,” he said.
But we’re told some buyers lining up for a guns have no idea how to use them. That is a safety concern brought up by every person we talked to today.
“You have to have license to drive a car and you have to go through training,” Colonna said. “As far as a firearm is concerned? Not enough training is done. Period.”
We are told with gun sales up across the country, for the same reasons, stores are having a hard time keeping up with stock to fill demand.
The FBI Chicago office had no comment regarding the sales of firearms. But the FBI did provide information about National Instant Criminal Background Checks, which are tracked by the FBI’s’ Criminal Justice Information Services unit.