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Gun Sales Surge, Just Like When Obama Was Elected the First Time

Ak-47, Flickr

Following President Obama’s victory last week, gun sales have spiked, much like they did in 2008 when he was first elected. Second Amendment supporters fear that a Democratic administration will tighten the screws on their ability to possess certain firearms, so the idea is to buy as many as possible while they’re still available.

But do gun enthusiasts have any real cause for concern? Maybe. Obama didn’t touch on the issue of gun control in his first term, but following the string of mass shootings around the country, there is little doubt that the president is searching for a solution to the problem.

“I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets,” Obama said in a recent statement regarding gun control. “And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced.”

In 1994, another Democratic president, Bill Clinton, signed an assault-weapons ban, though it expired in 2004 and has not really come close to being reinstated. And with the House of Representatives firmly in Republican control, its chances are virtually nonexistent.

Regardless, many gun shops across the country are reporting an increasing demand for semiautomatic rifles, which according to Lawrence Keane, vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation are “the most popular types of rifles being bought today by Americans.” Under Obama, the federal government has also noticed a rapid upswing in background checks. For example, nearly 100,000 were conducted on November 28, 2008, the third-highest number of background checks ever recorded on a single day.

The president has said that getting the economy back on track is his number one priority. If the rest of the economy takes a cue from the gun-sales sector, he’ll be well on his way.


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