Guns sales jump with Obama presidency

Because of Barack Obama’s election, the sale of guns has shot upwards (pun not intended but since I’ve already made it….).

It’s a narrative that’s popped up many times since last November. In Albert Lea, the Twin Cities, and many major cities.

It was repeated this afternoon in a story in the Daily Republic of Mitchell, South Dakota:


The number of concealed pistol permits in the state has jumped almost 17 percent since 2006, and one gun shop owner said the election of President-elect Barack Obama has a lot to do with it.

“The day that Obama was elected, gun sales from distributors to gun shops shot up,” said Robert Brown, owner of 2nd Amendment Guns in Mitchell. “The gun world is really scared.”

Not that whipping people into a frenzy is necessarily bad for business, mind you.

“It scares me that I might be seeing a time when guns might be taken out of the people’s hands,” Brown said. “It’s sad.”

It also ignores the “win” the Supreme Court delivered last summer when it overturned a handgun law in the District of Columia. Still, it was a case in which Obama submitted a brief in support of the ban.

However, a 2nd Amendment expert says it’s not an issue Obama is likely to touch. “My sense is that Obama does not want to interfere with an issue that will, for the time being, be left up to the states,” says David T. Konig, Ph.D., professor of history and director of the Legal Studies Program, both in Arts & Sciences, and professor of law in St. Louis. “The issue will turn to controls, such as sales at gun shows or other limited restrictions on purchases.”

There is the question, however, of whether the matter will be left up to the states. If so, there’s nothing to indicate gun owners in Minnesota (and certainly South Dakota) have much to worry about. There hasn’t been a significant legislative attempt yet to overturn the nearly-six-year-old concealed carry law in Minnesota, and there’s little to indicate any lawmaker has the stomach for such a fight this session, either .

  • http://www.shotinthedark.info Mitch Berg

    …there’s nothing to indicate gun owners in Minnesota (and certainly South Dakota) have much to worry about. There hasn’t been a significant legislative attempt yet to overturn the nearly-six-year-old concealed carry law in Minnesota, and there’s little to indicate any lawmaker has the stomach for such a fight this session, either .

    On the one hand, even the Dems have come to regard guns as as big a third rail as Social Security reform.

    On the other – the price of liberty IS eternal vigilance. While the win at the SCOTUS in the Heller case was a big one, the aftermath is illustrative; the DC government has been trying to chip away at the edges of the “individual right” (licensing revolvers but not semi-automatic handguns, delaying licenses over specious grounds, all but requiring gun owners to go to court to get their registrations). The Dem leadership controlling Congress is more than amenable to trying to find an edge to whittle away at the right.

    Don’t look to us gunnies to relax any time soon.

  • mrw

    There’s eternal vigilance, and then there’s paranoid obsession.

  • http://www.shotinthedark.info Mitch Berg

    OK, MRW – so given that…:

    * Obama has an anti-gun record,

    * Congress is led by rabid pro-victim-disarmament zealots

    * the Metrocrat DFLers backed down on guns very reluctantly, and only after the most disgusting compaign of group defamation in Minnesota history…

    …where does vigilance end, and (in your no-doubt-evenhanded point of view) “obsessive paranoia” begin?

  • Mitchell

    So Mitch,

    How many guns do you own? That might help you contextualize the question of eternal vigilance vs. obsessive paranoia…..

  • Bob Collins

    This is always a sensitive and emotional topic. Just a reminder that we don’t want the comments section to be TwinCities.com’s. Everybody think before hitting the “post” button. And thank you.

  • http://tice.us Patrick Tice

    I’m surprised by this reaction to the Obama election. It’s not that I’m anti-gun or anything, but it just seems pretty obvious that there are huge loopholes in Federal licensing and gun show sales oversight. Certainly tightening up show sales is not going to deprive anyone who is not a felon or mentally unstable from owning a legitimate weapon. Dealers who follow the rules will see little change in the way they currently do business. Guns are dangerous and they do need to be regulated by the government and handled carefully by their owners, but the modest changes that are likely under an Obama administration should not translate into a buying panic!

  • Mitchell

    With all due respect, why does Bob’s blog from today called “The Tone” so closely resemble Mr. Bergs blog entry a couple days ago on “A Shot in the Dark”?

    I’m not huge fan of Mr. Keillor either but there is a tradition of citing sources, especially when you cut and paste, verbatim.

  • momkat

    Didn’t the same thing happen when the Brady Bill passed? I know my strong Democrat father-in-law totally panicked and bought 3 hunting rifles: son, son-in-law and self. I think the NRA manages to stir up its members with a lot of fearmongering.

  • Bob Collins

    //I’m not huge fan of Mr. Keillor either but there is a tradition of citing sources, especially when you cut and paste, verbatim

    ?

  • bsimon

    “…where does vigilance end, and … “obsessive paranoia” begin?”

    Obsessive paranoia begins when people change their behavior based solely on presumtions that directly conflict with the next president’s statements. He has said, clearly and explicitly, that “I’m not coming after your guns.” Yet we see headlines like “Guns sales jump with Obama presidency.” How is that reaction one of ‘vigilance’ rather than ‘obsessive paranoia’?

  • Bob

    I’m a gun-shootin’ liberal. I voted for Obama with nary a thought that he’d try to mess with my use or enjoyment of firearms. I grew up hunting and owning firearms, and I spent an enjoyable afternoon not too long ago shooting an AK-47 and a plasticized Taurus .45. At a Las Vegas gun shop a few months ago, I had the pleasure of shooting a Thompson submachine gun and a Sten gun.

    I spend no time at all worrying whether federal or state governments are going to take away the right of non-felon, mentally stable folks to own guns.

    But I am in favor of stricter requirements, such as

    *proof of ownership/titling

    *requiring title transfer of all retail and private sales *requiring firearms training as a precursor to the right to own and use firearms

    *requiring proof of firearms training when buying guns

    *requiring proof of gun ownership and type of gun when buying ammunition.

    I am not, however, a member of the NRA, as I think they are at best unnecessary and at worst are an impediment to the establishment of reasonable gun regulations.

    Despite what the NRA might say, the kinds of requirements I noted above would do nothing to impinge on the right of law-abiding people to own and use certain kinds of guns, while also reducing the likelihood that guns and ammunition will fall into the wrong hands.

  • mrw

    Mitch —

    First, let me say that I am in general a support of gun rights. But despite the prior records of Barack Obama and the Democratic congressional leadership, the idea that they’re going to make any serious (or even non-serious) push for any major expansion of gun control laws is absurd.

    Gun rights were never a major part of this election, and Obama never made his record on guns any larger part of his campaign than an issues page and perhaps some targeted mailings. Democrats in Congress aren’t stupid; they know that attempting to push through major gun control legislation would be politically dangerous, both because of the strong opposition that would come from the NRA and Republicans, but also because Democrats have built their majority in no small part on pro-gun Democrats, including Minnesota’s own Tim Walz.

    Will gun policy under a Democratic congress and Democratic president be more to the left than under Republican leadership? Yes, of course. But the idea that these changes will make up any major part of the Democratic policy agenda, or that they will result in literal confiscation of guns described by Robert Brown in the Daily Republic article, is simply ridiculous.