Some residents worry that overworked police will not have time to keep the peace. “What people want is ammo,” said a gun store owner. “People want to arm up and protect themselves from the looters.”
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, Houston gun shops are seeing a spike in ammunition sales as some residents worry about the ability of strained law enforcement to keep the peace, reports The Trace. “Our phones are blowing off the hook,” said James Hillin, the owner of Full Armor Firearms, off busy I-10 in Houston. “What people want is ammo. People want to arm up and protect themselves from the looters.” There have been reports of looting in Houston, and the mayor has instituted a curfew. More than 40 people have been arrested, the Houston Chronicle reported. So far, there doesn’t appear to be evidence that looting is widespread.
Gun owners worried that their weapons might be stolen have also called Hillin to ask a favor. “All these people who got their houses flooded are calling me to put their guns in my store’s vault,” he said. “It’s bone dry.” A spokesperson for the ATF in Houston said gun stores in the area were burglarized during the storm but could not provide details. Hillen said employees armed with AR-15 rifles were keeping watch at his store, which was not damaged by the storm.