Business owners in the St. Louis, Missouri area have hired private military contractors to transport guns and gold, fearing their shops will be targeted by looters if a grand jury does not indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in the St. Louis County suburb of Ferguson.

“There’s a lot of people that brought in a lot of money to have people secure their assets,” said Stephen King, owner of Metro Shooting Supplies gun shop, a 15-minute drive from Ferguson. “Some of those people spent $10 an hour on security guards and some people have $1,000 a day private contractors.”

King confirmed that gun shops in the area are hiring private military contractors to escort the transport of their guns to secure locations. A private military contractor who spoke to VICE News on condition of anonymity said that more than 300 private military contractors, or PMCs, have been contracted for work in direct response to Ferguson security concerns.

Jared Ogden, director of operations for Asymmetric Solutions, a private military contractor staffed by former special operations forces told VICE News his company was hired by businesses to transport “St. Louis-based company assets.”

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