For those of us that are awake, please be aware that if you are a gun owner or a future gun owner, make sure you do not buy ammunition in large quantities because Homeland Security is now VISITING people that do.
In other news; buy stock in gun manufacturers – they are booming.
It’s unclear how effective President Barack Obama’s policies will be in reversing the nation’s economic slide, but since his election he has proven to be a one-man stimulus package for one sector of the economy — gun sales.
Since November, sales of handguns and tactical or semiautomatic rifles have increased by 50 percent in 15 states as gun shops and sporting-goods stores like the Kittery Trading Post and Dick’s Sporting Goods have benefited from concerns, real or not, that the Obama administration will enact strict gun-control laws such as a revival of the 1994 assault weapons ban — or even, as some pro-gun Web sites have suggested, take guns away from lawful owners.
Nationwide, according to data from the FBI and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, November gun background checks increased 42 percent from the year before. In December, background checks were up 24 percent, 29 percent in January, and 23 percent in February. Background checks are considered an indication of retail sale activity.
“We’ve had a double-digit increase in sales of handguns and tactical rifles beginning about a week before the election…,” said Fox Keim, vice president of the Kittery Trading Post. “Manufacturers can’t keep up with demand and we are seeing a backlog of orders ranging from six months to two years for certain products.”
Smith & Wesson, which has a Rochester barrel-making facility and is one of the country’s largest firearms manufacturers, reported in its most recent financial statement that hunting rifle sales were down nearly 46 percent, but “sales of all other firearms, specifically handguns and tactical rifles, were $70.7 million, a $23.8 million or 51 percent increase over the same quarter last fiscal year.”
Sturm, Ruger & Co., another major firearms company, reported that fourth-quarter 2008 sales of firearms jumped 42 percent versus the prior year, primarily due to increased sales of pistols.
Keim said ammunition sales at the Kittery Trading Post have “skyrocketed” as well and that customer feedback reveals that some gun owners are wary of the Obama administration’s gun-control plans.
“The general pro-gun public believes he will restrict gun sales or reinstate the assault weapon ban, which we believe was absolutely pointless,” Keim said.
“People are afraid and rightly so,” said Penny Dean, attorney for Gun Owners of New Hampshire. Dean believes the spike in gun sales is due to a combination of factors for lawful gun owners — the country’s fiscal crisis, rising unemployment, and fears the Obama administration will tax guns and ammunition so heavily that it will make them unaffordable.
“They are trying to price the average person out of the market,” Dean said about a piece of legislation in Congress. “If you look at Obama’s record, you know he’s not a pro-gun person. This is like normal consumer behavior. If you like spring water and hear someone is going to ban it, you’re going to bring a pickup (truck) and stock up.”
Peter Hamm, of the Washington-D.C.-based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, questions what he sees as the “lunacy” of those who are buying guns and fear-mongering the complicated issues of gun owner rights and gun control.
“They demonized Barack Obama as the worst threat to gun ownership ever and scared people,” Hamm said. “In this economic environment, I question the sanity of extremists who are buying up guns. What kind of choices are they making for their families?”
Hamm said the spike in gun sales is “proof positive that there’s no problem in buying firearms in America.”
He also suggests that everyone take a second look at what Congress is actually doing for gun control.
“We are very disappointed with Congress on the gun issue,” Hamm said. “Congress is going in the wrong direction and trying to eviscerate gun-control laws such as the D.C. handgun ban.”
David Finkelhor, a sociology professor at the University of New Hampshire, said the current political and economic conditions have created a climate of uncertainty.
“In this recession, we are suffering from (what) economists say is a crisis of confidence,” he said. “People don’t know where things are heading and a lot of people are running nightmare scenarios.”
Finkelhor said the spike in gun sales could be “a conscious political strategy to make the news and send a message to political authorities.” But he cautions against reading too much into the gun sales increase.
“You can get a boom from a very small sliver of the population,” he said.
The political rhetoric over guns is heating up.
Wayne LaPierre, president of the National Rifle Association, said during a recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Committee that record guns sales are the result of people choosing to protect themselves.
“The Second Amendment breathes life into liberty,” LaPierre said. “The Founding Fathers understood that the guys with the guns make the rules.”
Jenn Coffey, a state representative from Andover and New Hampshire coordinator for Second Amendment Sisters, said she is not surprised by the increase in gun sales because of concerns about crime, terrorism and an administration unfriendly toward gun rights.
“We’ve seen a major increase in women becoming active and they are afraid that the government is going to disarm them and put them at risk,” Coffey said.
Gun owner Genie Jennings of South Berwick, Maine, experienced that concern firsthand.
“Gun sales are rising because a lot of people will not be able to buy the guns and ammunition they want to in the near future,” Jennings said. “The day after the election, I got calls from a variety of people who weren’t gun owners. Some I knew and some I didn’t, but they were worried they might not be able to buy what they needed to protect themselves.”