25 Mar 2009

Obama and the Democrat Congress Still Fueling Explosion in Guns Sales

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Local papers like the Waynesville (Missouri) Daily Guide cover matters of interest often overlooked by the New York Times and Washington Post and report them very differently.

Last November’s election and the radical policies of the Obama administration have resulted in widespread ongoing gun and ammunition stockpiling and hoarding prompted by direct fears of new regulations and even federal gun confiscation.

The week Barack Obama was elected president, the amount of criminal background checks related to the purchase of firearms jumped 49 percent over the previous year, FBI statistics show.

It’s a trend that hasn’t ceased to stop, as background checks for firearm purchases have continued to increase in the months following the November election, when compared to the same time a year ago.

February alone witnessed a 23.3 percent jump, and January and December weren’t too far ahead, with 29 and 24 percent increases, respectively.

Fears of possible anti-gun legislation that’s being considered by the Obama administration might be contributing to the rise in sales, as well as the teeter-tottering economy.

The angst seems to be somewhat legitimate, although at this time it’s unclear whether a push to reinstate the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, commonly referred to as the “assault weapons ban” will be successful.

“Well, as President Obama indicated during the campaign, there are just a few gun-related changes we would like to make, and among them would be to reinstitute the ban on the sale of assault weapons,” Attorney General Eric Holder said during a press conference last month that focused on growing violence in Mexico.

According to the State Department, drug cartels are using “automatic weapons and grenades” in confrontations against Mexican army and police units. The idea is by putting the ban back in place, the flow of guns into Mexico would be reduced.

Enacted in 1994 under then-president Bill Clinton, the assault weapons ban prohibited 19 specific firearms in addition to the possession, manufacturing and importation of the semiautomatic assault weapons and ammunition clips with more than 10 rounds for civilian use.

Though a bill to reinstate the act hasn’t been introduced in Congress yet, and Holder hasn’t given a timeline for when that might happen, numerous other pieces of legislation have been. Six U.S. House of Representative bills are currently being considered, the most troubling of which, gun-rights advocates say, is H.R. 45, known as the Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009.

If the legislation is successful, it would require a license for handguns and semiautomatic firearms, including those people already own. License applicants would have to under go a background check and take a written firearms examination, meant to test the applicant’s knowledge of safe storage and handling of guns, as well as the risks associated with the use of firearms in a home, legal responsibilities of owners of such weapons and “any other subject, as the Attorney General determines to be appropriate.”

Furthermore, “the bill would make it unlawful in nearly all cases to keep any loaded firearm for self-defense. A variety of ‘crimes by omission’… would be created. Criminal penalties of up to ten years and almost unlimited regulatory and inspection authority would be established,” according to Gun Owners of America, a non-profit lobbying organization led by former senator Bill Richardson.

The bill would also make it unlawful to sell or transfer a “qualifying firearm” to any person who is not licensed.
Other legislation includes H.R. 17 which would reaffirm the right to use firearms for self-defense and the defense of a person’s home and family; H.R. 1074 would permit the interstate sale of firearms as long as the laws of the states are complied with and adhere to federal law.

Bill Morris, Military Pro owner, said sales at his shop have increased as rumors about possible legislation circulate.

“A lot of customers are afraid that the guns they enjoy shooting so much for sports are going to be restricted,” Morris said. “A lot of the firearms people use for hunting and have used for a long time are being threatened.”

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