Obama Called ''Best Gun Salesman of the Year''

Wednesday, January 14, 2009 - by Jim Shepherd , The Outdoor Wire

Editorial Opinion by Jim Shepherd with ''The Outdoor Wire''

In recognition of the unprece­dented demand for firearms by nervous consumers, The Outdoor Wire has named President-elect Barack Obama its "Gun Salesman of the Year". For me, it was a simple fact of recognizing that without President-elect Obama's frightening consumers into action, the firearms industry might be suffering the same sort of business slumps that have befallen the automotive and housing industries.

It's credit where credit is due. Mr. Obama has consistently voted against individual rights to firearms, appointed a re-tread Clinton administration full of gun banners, and made it plain to anti-gun groups that despite what he might say to the contrary, he's on their side That history, along with the unquestioned support of anti-gun organizations has spooked consumers into a buying frenzy for firearms that could be outlawed in another Assault Weapons Ban.

Manufacturers are months behind on orders for semi-automatic pistols, AR-style rifles, and anything with so-called 'high-capacity magazines, buyers we've surveyed across the country seem to have a single explanation for their rush to purchase firearms - Obama.

The buying panic is not limited to people you might be described as aficionados or even 'gun nuts'. Recently, I was in a gun store when a gentleman came and said he'd never wanted to own a gun before, but wanted to get one while he still could."

Since the November Presidential election, firearms sales have been at unprecedented levels. For December 2008 the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) recorded a twenty-four percent increase in background checks for 2008 (1,523,426) over December 2007 (1,230,525).

This follows a forty-two percent (42%) increase in November 2008, the highest number of NICS checks in the system's history. Those FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing firearms from federally licensed firearms retailers. In other words, gun sales have never been better.

Sales are so good that on Tuesday, January 6, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) issued a notice to all federal firearms licensees that "an unprecedented increase in demand for ATF Form 4473 had run supplies low enough that dealers were temporarily given permission to photocopy the form until supplies caught up with demand. Completion of a form 4473 is required whenever a federal firearms licensee sells a fire­arm.

As a journalist with more than two decades of national newsgathering experience, I've never seen anything approaching what he calls the "Obama effect". In fact, gun and ammunition sales are at such frantic levels that they have surpassed the panic-buying of Y2K or anything during the Clinton years when the first Assault Weapons Ban was passed. This time, he says, concerned consumers are buying guns and ammunition in anticipation of Obama Administration actions to prohibit certain types of firearms.

In 1999, the fear was that computers would shut down, crippling the world. Those fears were unfounded. I don't think the fears of an Obama administration banning guns are unfounded. His record speaks for itself. He's never failed to support an anti-gun measure, despite saying he supports the Second Amendment.

Moves to prohibit firearms sales would drastically impact a billion-dollar industry that is not only healthy, but pours more than one hundred fifty million dollars annually into conservation programs through an eleven percent tax collected on guns and ammo.

The Pittman-Robertson Act provides the vast majority of funding for wildlife agencies at the federal, state and local levels and that money comes directly from the tax levied against gun owners. Damaging the firearms industry won't just put workers in the gun business out of work, it will severely impact wildlife and conservation efforts nationally. That damage could take decades to repair - if it can be undone."

Choosing President-elect Obama as the Gun Salesman of the Year is a lot like a good-news, bad-news joke.His election has driven gun sales into the stratosphere, but his opposition to guns and gun ownership may be the biggest threat the industry has ever faced. If he puts scoring political points with anti-gun groups ahead of economic realities, he will be deliberately putting thousands of people out of work. I don't see that as an economic stimulus plan with much of a future."

"Today, the facts are indisputable. Barack Obama has spurred gun sales in a time when the entire economy seems to be tanking. If that doesn't make him the gun salesman of the year - if not the decade - I don't know what would.


Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming events and news from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event *Downtown Kayak Adventure  July 25 Join Outdoor Chattanooga for a beginner friendly  kayak tour of downtown Chattanooga on the Tennessee River. Our guide staff will provide basic instruction, then lead a leisurely paddle from the north shore around ... (click for more)

3 Rivers Longbeards NWTF Chapter To Host Youth Event On Aug. 8 At TWRA Office In Morristown

Young people ages five to 17 and their parents or guardians are invited to enjoy a day of outdoor fun at the TWRA Region IV Office in Morristown on  Aug. 8,  from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Three Rivers Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) will host the Allen Ricks Memorial JAKES Day event. Allen Ricks was the TWRA  Region IV Information ... (click for more)

Thousands Line Route For Funeral Procession Of Sailor Slain In Chattanooga Shooting; Wife Sings Song At Funeral She Was Singing When They Met

Thousands of people waving flags and signs again lined the streets and highways of Chattanooga for the second of two local funerals for military personnel slain by a gunman on July 16. And at the funeral service for Petty Officer 2nd Class Randall Scott Smith, his wife, Angie, sang the song she was singing the first time they met. She said she was singing "You say it best when ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Man Who Declared He Was "An Innocent Man" On Child Pornography Charges Gets Conviction, 24-Year Sentence Overturned

The Federal Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of a Chattanooga man who claimed at his trial and sentencing that he was wrongfully convicted by a jury of possession and distribution of child pornography. James Paul Lowe had been sentenced in May to serve 24 years in federal prison. After the sentencing, he had bid his family goodbye and told them to ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Strong

The hearts, minds and prayers of Tennesseans, and of the entire nation, have been turned toward Chattanooga this month.  We are sickened and saddened by the senseless tragedy, and we grieve for the families of the five service members who were killed, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan, Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist, Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” K. Wells, Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt and ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Could Obama Win Again?

When President Barack Obama spoke to the African Union yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, he made a pretty brash statement: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president,” he told the African leaders. “I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t.” While everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don’t think that’s true. Obviously, term limits keep Obama from running, but as I sit ... (click for more)