Sportsmen look to shaky future as Obama takes office
Have you been to your local sporting goods retailer lately? Have you noticed anything different? Guns and ammo are flying off the shelf at near record rates as many gun owners, hunters and shooting enthusiasts brace for the new president and his anti-gun control policies that are sure to follow. Many weapons like the popular AR-15s and SKS rifles are in short supply as the demand for these weapons and their ammunition goes through the roof amid speculation they will be outlawed once Obama takes office. Right now it’s tough to find any of the weapons for purchase on the short list to be banned. The feeling among hunters and shooters is “buy now because you may not get another chance.”
Just this past week while admiring a new AR-15 one of my friends had bought, I listened to what has become a common story. The owner of the new AR-15 had gone into a gun shop to buy some extra ammo for his new gun and watched another customer purchase a pallet .223 rounds for his AR. Not a case of ammo, a pallet. That’s a bunch of bullets right there. My friend asked the guy buying all the ammo how come he needed so much and his response was interesting. “If they ban this stuff I have more than I can shoot so I won’t run out. If they don’t ban it, then I can sell it at a gun show and get my money back, it’s an investment and insurance all wrapped up into one.” Tough to argue with the logic, especially considering Obama’s anti-gun track record.
According to published reports form the National Rifle Association, here is a list of some of the president-elect’s past voting history and agendas for the future. Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry. Obama also wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban. Obama voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting. He has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership and opposes Right to Carry laws. Obama was on the board of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.” Obama also supported a proposal to ban gun stores within five miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America. He voted not to notify gun owners when the state of Illinois did records searches on them and also favors a ban on standard capacity magazines. Obama is opposed to self-defense, and favors allowing cities to prosecute citizens for successfully defending themselves with a gun in their own home. Obama voted against SB 2165 (IL 2004) that was designed to protect citizens who rightfully defended themselves from unjust gun possession charges.
All of the aforementioned are scary thoughts for gun owners and sportsmen but there is one more fact that will affect more people than any of the others. Obama has endorsed a 500-percent increase in the federal excise tax on firearms and ammunition. That $12 box of steel shot gets mighty expensive when you start throwing around numbers like that. Rifle ammo and large caliber pistol rounds also will become much more expensive. The higher the cost of ammo equals less people shooting and that means more and more hunters will be squeezed out of a sport or way of life that they truly love and enjoy. Since the election there has been a major push for hunters and shooting enthusiasts to join organizations like the NRA and others that protect gun owner’s rights. The next several years will no doubt be tough on gun owners but hopefully with help from organizations like the NRA the shooting sports will continue to thrive so future generations can enjoy them as well. Only time will tell.