Fear of 2nd Obama term a boon for gun sales
[Editor's Note: this article was originally published by The Lima News.]
by Greg Sowinski
LIMA - Artillery Shed manager Josh Bayer has been trying to handle a gun sales boom this year best he can, although he says gun manufacturers have fallen behind demand.
The delays have gotten worse in recent months as the presidential election approaches and supporters of the Second Amendment fear new gun laws and restrictions if President Obama wins a second term, said Bayer whose store is in Lima.
"People are in fear. They want what they can't get right now," Bayer said. "Manufactures can't keep up with what they want."
Van Wert's D & D Armory owner Brian Ellerbrock said he has had a steady increase leading up to the election. He said gun owners fear a second term for Obama would mean more restrictive gun laws, and people want to be prepared.
Gun stores are required to perform an FBI background check that screen a buyer to make sure he or she does not have a criminal record before the sale of a gun. Those numbers have been on the rise each year, and this year could set a record.
Through July, the FBI conducted 10.2 million background checks in the country for gun store owners which could beat last year's record of 16.5 million background checks. During the presidential election in 2008, that number hit 12.7 million.
While the numbers are up, Ellerbrock said it could rise dramatically if Democrats maintain control of the White House. Some people are talking about guns and gun equipment but haven't yet made purchases, he said.
"If Obama is reelected, we could see a drastic spike in firearms purchasing," Ellerbrock said. "I think you will see shortages in ammunition, firearms and magazines."
Ellerbrock said the waiting period to get certain guns will drastically increase out of fear if Obama is reelected.
"Manufacturers will not be able to keep up," he said.
For Bayer, handgun sales are the bread and butter at the Artillery Shed.
"We sell more handguns day after day because of concealed carry," he said.
Sgt. Al Mefferd of the Allen County Sheriff's Office said people seeking new concealed carry permits also have been up this year. Through September, the agency has issued 434 new permits which tops all of last year's new permits at 399, he said.
While the number likely will not approach the 684 new permits issued in 2009 and credited to Obama taking office, Mefferd said it there could be a spike but he doesn't anticipate anything until it happens.
"We'll see what happens Nov. 7, the day after the election," he said.
While the man who has been in the White House the past four years gets most of the credit for the spike in gun sales and CCW permits, Mefferd said he's not the only factor.
"People are more concerned about their own safety," he said.
CCW is a popular reason to buy a handgun, but Bayer said there are others. Many people choose handguns as their "bedroom gun" over shotguns or rifles, he said.
"Walmart doesn't sell handguns, so people come to us for handguns," Bayer said.
People are also ordering modern sporting rifles such as those in the AR15 platform, Bayer said.
There's a delay in modern sporting rifles and a shortage in .223 ammunition the rifles take which has caused a price increase due to simple economics, he said.
While modern sporting rifles have been a hot sale, the rifles became more in demand after President Obama said during the second presidential debate he wanted to take a closer look at gun laws including renewing an expired "assault weapons ban." Such a ban could target modern sporting rifles, which often are incorrectly referred to by politicians and others as "assault weapons," Bayer said.
"Some people realize he has nothing to lose in his second term so he may do it," Bayer said.
Bayer has some guns in stock but his display cases are becoming bare. Some guns, if in stock with his supplier, can arrive in a day or two. Others, it may be several months and in some cases, more than 18 months for some highly sought-after weapons.
"The manufacturers, themselves, is what's holding everybody up," he said.