National News

Gun sales up in N.C. after Obama win

Posted November 7, 2008

— North Carolinians are among gun enthusiasts nationwide stocking up on firearms out of worries that President-elect Obama and a Democrat-majority Congress will create tough, new gun laws.

"Virtually every customer coming in right now is in fear of that," said Clay Ausley, owner of Fuquay-Varina Gun and Gold. "'I gotta get it before Obama gets in,' we hear all day."

Over the past two days, sales have jumped roughly 60 percent, primarily for high-capacity firearms, Ausley said. Customers have come from Virginia, South Carolina and across North Carolina and signed up for waiting lists as demand exceeded manufacturers' supplies.

Monty Edge snapped up the last semi-automatic rifle, an AR15, just 30 minutes after a shipment of two arrived at Gun and Gold.

"Getting the guns restocked is a real issue right this minute," Ausley said.

Last month, as an Obama win looked increasingly inevitable, the FBI conducted more than 108,000 more background checks for gun purchases, a 15 percent increase from October 2007. Overall, checks were up about 8 percent for the year, as of Oct. 26.

"The restrictions for buying certain types of firearms might get a little tighter in the future, so we're out buying while we can," Edge said.

"We know the Democrats have a different stance on them than we do," customer Carter Day said.

Obama has said that while he respects the Second Amendment right to bear arms, he wants "common sense" gun laws. Gun-rights advocates interpret that as meaning he will, at least, enact curbs on ownership of assault and concealed weapons.

As a U.S. Senator, Obama voted to leave gunmakers and dealers open to lawsuits, and as an Illinois state legislator, he supported a ban on certain weapons and tighter restrictions on all firearms.

Gun buyers said they fear that Democrats will make stricter gun laws, such as the 1990s higher taxes on ammunition; the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, which expired in 2004 under Bush; and the Brady Act that established a waiting period for handgun purchases and required background checks for firearm sales. As a result, firearms and ammunition have flown off shelves these days.

"Bill Clinton had banned the high-capacity magazines, the bayonet lugs, the flash suppressors, the six-position stocks," Ausley said.

Since dealers could not order new guns with those features, the existing ones, along with their more heavily-taxed ammunition, skyrocketed in price.

"Instead of being 1,600 bucks, it literally went to $3,000; your $500 (gun) literally went to $1,000 overnight," Ausley said. "If you tax the ammo high enough, it'll slow down the sale of firearms. If you can't afford the bullets, you can't afford to shoot the gun."

Gun advocates take some solace in the Supreme Court, which ruled 5-4 this summer to strike down the District of Columbia's 32-year handgun restriction. While gun-rights supporters hold a narrow edge on the court, Obama could appoint justices who would swing it the other way.

"All of us are hoping that nothing comes of it," Ausley said, but he added that he doesn't see demand falling anytime soon. "We're predicting it to hold on until he gets into office and does have a chance to sit down and change some laws."

Despite their differences with the president-elect, gun buyers said they would respect Obama's authority and obey whatever new laws are made.

"I may not have voted for him, but I'm still going to support him," Day said. "And hopefully, he won't do the same things that our last Democratic president did."


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  • Nope Nov 10, 2008

    Jeez, why are republicans so paranoid? They all sound like those people who are in those "militia" groups. Is it mental illness?

  • kittiboo Nov 7, 2008

    davidgnews- Thing is, people with guns are capable of killing other people (notice I didn't say guns kill people), especially if someone's big gun collection is stolen by the wrong people. The only person ever killed by a stamp was George's fiance on Seinfeld.

  • libertyordeath Nov 7, 2008

    All the anti-gun people will maintain their ideology right up to the point when a thug cuts theirs throat or pulls the trigger,in thier face, of a gun which is already illegal for a them to own. At that point, I garuantee you they will wish they had a gun themselves. Carrying and owning a guns does not make you "so afraid of everything" as one poster suggested, it makes you prepared! Why do you purchase insurance? Do you purchase it because you are "so afraid of everything" or because it makes good financial sense? Some of us believe owning guns is good insurance against losing your life!! We do not live in a peaceful and safe world. All of us would truly love to live in that world but it is not a reality. It would be prudent for you anti-gun folks to come to this realization before you have you potential appointment with a thug who could care less about gun laws.

  • uncgrad07 Nov 7, 2008

    Wow, there are some really ignorant posts here regarding The Second Amendment. I agree that there's no reason for citizens to own automatic weapons, but everything else is fair game.

    To all those smug liberals who want to keep living in their own fantasy world: please go ahead. Just don't whine to me that you have no means of personal/family protection when roadside bombs and terrorist attacks become a reality in the states. It's just a matter of time, especially with the newly elected administration. Do you think that Al-Queda, Iranian and Syrian leaders backed Obama arbitrarily? I think not. Why wouldn't they? Every empire and dynasty in world history has ultimately failed and this just might be the beginning of the failure of the US. I just want to have a gun or three to protect myself and my family if it comes to that...and it eventually will.

  • PatsFan Nov 7, 2008

    LOL. The Democrats are probably THRILLED that all these people are out buying guns. It is exactly what the economy needs and if the Democratic leadership is smart they will do whatever they can to keep sales up.

  • kittiboo Nov 7, 2008

    I don't recall saying that you shouldn't own guns. But certain kinds are TOTALLY unneccesary for people to own. Like I said, if guns get expensive and you can't afford the ammo, quit whining and get a new hobby.
    You guys saying that banning certain guns won't stop the criminals, do ANY laws really stop criminals? Nope- that's why they are criminals. So do you think we shouldn't have any laws?
    You people just don't want to pay more for your little hobby, or to have to wait if you want to go buy a new toy. The only people who want to get guns really fast are those planning to commit crimes.
    Again, I believe it is a right (not a necessity) to own a gun. But do it responsibly and get reasonable guns and keep the dang things locked up.

  • clickclackity2 Nov 7, 2008

    These posts are funny. I know the gun shop owners and black marketers are laughing all the way to the bank. But, I suppose everyone has a cause to fight for that they are passionate about, so go for what you know. Too bad not all as they say it "conservatives and liberals" share the same views, which was evident with a good amount of conservatives and liberals BOTH voting for Obama. Fact is there's bigger issues on most people's minds other than gun control and I think Obama is smart enough to know that there are many black marketers out there that will make the drug epidemic look minute compared to a gun epidemic should excessive controls be implemented.

  • ignc73 Nov 7, 2008

    It's got to be terrible to be so afraid of everything that you feel like you have to own guns. I'm glad I'm not like that!

  • davidgnews Nov 7, 2008

    There is no reason for people to own big/automatic guns.

    Yes there are. Plenty of responsible collectors are out there, and they like them for historical, design, or investment purposes. Some people like to collect stamps, others like to collect guns.

    I have an uncle that's retired ATF, and he's got some great stories regarding the recovery of stolen gun collections.

  • TeresaBee Nov 7, 2008

    Before I read anyones comments mine is going to be this: When your right to bear arms was written they did not mean the semi automatic weapons that are out today. Now if you want to bear arms use the weapons that the law was written for!