As America braces for chaos ahead of Joe Biden's inauguration this week, gun stores across the nation are struggling to keep up with demand.
One Texas gun store owner told local media he is desperately trying to recruit staff to keep up with demand and predicted the situation could continue for the next 24 months.
Gun safety expert Stephen Gutowski posted a picture of a sign outside his local store in Virginia that shows there's "basically no ammo available".
He said there are still lines of people outside the shop and inside there wasn't a single pump-action shotgun available.
There are similar reports emerging across the nation, with a gun show in Iowa today reporting a massive increase in sales from previous years.
"We've basically sold out of about 50 per cent of the guns that we have," a spokeswoman for one of the vendors told local media.
During a typical show, she says they'd sell about 13 guns. But after just a few hours of the Davenport show on Saturday, they'd already sold close to 75.
The reports come as small groups of right-wing protesters — some of them carrying rifles — started to gather outside heavily fortified statehouses around the US today.
There were no immediate reports of any clashes.
Security was stepped up in recent days after the FBI warned of the potential for armed protests in Washington and at all 50 state capitol buildings ahead of Biden's inauguration on Thursday (NZT).
More than a third of governors had called out the National Guard to help protect their capitols and assist local law enforcement. Several governors declared states of emergency, and others closed their capitols to the public until after Biden's inauguration.
Some statehouses were surrounded by new protective fences, had boarded-up windows and were patrolled by extra police.
Some legislatures also cancelled sessions or pared back their work for the coming week.
A few people demonstrated in some capital cities today, with crowds of only a dozen or two, while streets in many other places remained empty.
Some protesters said they supported President Trump, but others said they weren't backing Trump and had instead come to voice their support for gun rights or oppose government overreach.
Some of the most worrying scenes so far have taken place in Michigan – where the National Guard has been activated and an armed militia has held a press conference.
A man who aligned with the Boogaloo Bois – standing alongside protesters wearing full military gear – called on extreme groups from both ends of the political spectrum to unite against the US government.
"This is our last chance to avoid a tyrannical government or a bloody and pointless civil war among American people, who do not have that much against each other and have more in common than they realise," he said.
"Our message to the government is, we come in peace. We do not intend to commit violence, but I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes and cracks in my voice, if you continue to oppress the American people, they will remain rational no longer."
Tall fences surround the US Capitol in Washington DC. The National Mall was closed to the public, and the mayor of Washington asked people not to visit.
Some 25,000 National Guard troops from around the country are expected to arrive in the city in the coming days.
The security measures were intended to safeguard seats of government from the type of violence that broke out at the Capitol on January 6, when far-right Trump supporters galvanised by his false claims that the election had been stolen from him stormed the building while Congress was certifying the Electoral College vote.
The attack left a Capitol Police officer and four others dead. More than 125 people have been arrested on charges related to the insurrection.
- With AP