It’s no secret that Americans are worrying not only about infection by the coronavirus, but also the availability of common goods as well as civil unrest. Gun sales in March hit an all-time high, especially among first time buyers and now it looks like the ultra rich are taking steps to protect their estates and their families.
In the last 2 weeks, more than 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment, with more expected to be on the way. Jails across the country are releasing non-violent offenders early and talks are already beginning in New York and at the federal level on how even violent offenders could be relocated to home arrests.
This combination of scarcity of goods, more people losing their livelihoods and an influx of convicted criminals back into society has many worried. According to a recent report by the Daily Mail, the high-end armed security market is simply booming as millionaires and billionaires can’t get hired guns on their streets soon enough.
‘These people are fearful of anarchy, that crime is going to spike and that people will get desperate and steal to feed their families,’ said Mike Ciravolo, a retired NYPD detective who serves as president of Dietl.
‘They fear they will become targets if this thing really ramps up. These are very affluent people, with very, very expensive units.’ Ciravolo said he’s assigned guards, round-the-clock, to secure an upscale co-op in Soho and two luxury apartment buildings on the Upper East Side, and is getting more calls every day.
Herman Weisberg, of Sage, said he started receiving Covid-19 business two weeks ago.
At first, it was clients who wanted security guards to accompany them on errands to their banks, so they could withdraw stockpiles of cash in the event of a run on banks.
Another client, a business executive in Soho, called him in a panic, saying he was seeking to acquire a firearm to protect himself, but couldn’t find one because all the stores he contacted were sold out.
‘That moved up his decision to hire me,’ Weisberg said.
So far most of the requests for armed security have been for homes in the Hamptons and for high end apartment buildings in Manhattan. However, violent crimes such as homicide and armed robbery are actually drastically down since the pandemic began and more people began staying home.