So far this holiday season, gun sellers are reporting booming sales — a trend that started shortly after last month’s presidential election.
“Gun sales are increasing, while the number of guns on the shelves is decreasing,” said Marcus McDaniels, a sales associate with Hinesville gun store Aim Center Mass. “I think they’re buying guns in response to the election (and fear some guns will be banned) because shooting is a fun sport and for self-defense. You know criminals always have guns.”
McDaniels said distributors keep selling out, and as soon as his store receives an order for certain guns or ammunition, they’re quickly sold out.
The increase in gun sales is a trend not just here or South Georgia but the entire country.
On Friday, The New York Times, USA Today and World Net Daily posted online articles or columns about the surge in gun sales. USA Today reported that the FBI fielded 154,873 calls for background checks on Black Friday alone, a 20 percent increase of last year’s record of 129,166 checks on the same day.
Columnist Charles Blow in the New York Times called the surge of gun sales a “gun-buying craze,” criticizing gun-rights advocates for opposing what he called “logical” restrictions on gun sales. He noted that during the second presidential debate, Barack Obama said “weapons designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on the streets.”
McDaniels suspects many of his recent customers understood that to mean Obama wants to reinstate the assault-weapons ban.
“Handguns are always the most popular guns we have, but right now assault rifles are in high demand,” McDaniels said. “We just can’t keep them or much ammunition in stock anymore.”
McDaniels was aware that within hours after the election results were in, the Obama administration changed its position to support renewed debate over the United Nation’s Small Arms Treaty, which would regulate the $70 billion global conventional-arms trade, according to a Reuters article. He did not know about news reports that the Department of Homeland Security has recently purchased over 1.4 billion rounds of ammunition. According to a Sept. 14 article on Examiner.com, the purchases have been made for several caliber of pistol and rifle ammunition, including millions of “hollow point” rounds. The article noted that hollow-point ammunition is prohibited by the Geneva Convention, but allowed for law-enforcement use. However, the article said some of the federal agencies for which the ammunition supposedly was ordered include the National Weather Service and Social Security Administration.
Examiner.com writer Ryan Keller didn’t speculate why so much ammunition was ordered, and McDaniels said he couldn’t imagine. He could only say it was difficult to get large orders of ammunition, as if production was down or someone else was competing with them.
Responding to questions about fears of new laws restricting gun ownership, U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston’s office voiced its strong support for Second Amendment rights. Spokesman Chris Crawford said Kingston, R-Ga., is “a staunch defender of the Second Amendment” who “defends the right to bear arms.” He said Kingston is opposed to moving forward with the United Nations treaty and called on the administration to end its involvement.
Kingston also is opposed to any call to reinstate the assault weapons ban that ended in 2005.
“With respect to so-called assault rifles, the hysteria pushed by the anti-gun lobby that there would be an increase in violence as a result of allowing the ban to expire has not come to fruition,” Kingston said. “This type of firearm has become very popular among law-abiding citizens for hunting and target shooting and should not be banned on the basis of false premises that doing so would reduce violence. In fact, states that have relaxed gun-control laws have seen a statistical drop in gun-related violence.”
World Net Daily writer Art Moore does not believe the UN treaty would even get by a Democrat-controlled Senate, and he doesn’t believe any legislation to reinstate the assault-rifle ban will get through a Republican-controlled House. He speculated, however, that the president will “legislate” restrictions on gun sales through executive order.
McDaniels speculated that any efforts to restrict gun ownership would increase gun sales across the country.