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Sales of Guns Soar in U.S. as Nation Weighs Tougher Limits


Society & Culture  (tags: activists, americans, children, crime, culture, death, dishonesty, education, ethics, family, freedoms, government, law, media, murder, police, politics, safety, society, violence )

Kit
- 544 days ago - nytimes.com
"If I had 1,000 AR-15s I could sell them in a week," said Jack Smith, an independent gun dealer in Des Moines, referring to the popular style of semiautomatic rifle that drew national attention after Adam Lanza used one to kill 20 children and 6 adults->



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Kit B. (277)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:18 pm
(Phot Credit: Alan Rogers/Casper Star-Tribune, via Associated Press) - At a gun store in Casper, Wyo., late last month, a wall that typically displays about 25 military-style rifles was almost bare.


As Washington focuses on what Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will propose next week to curb gun violence, gun and ammunition sales are spiking in the rest of the country as people rush to expand their arsenals in advance of any restrictions that might be imposed.

People were crowded five deep at the tiny counter of a gun shop near Atlanta, where a pastor from Knoxville, Tenn., was among the customers who showed up in person after the store’s Web site halted sales because of low inventory. Emptying gun cases and bare shelves gave a picked-over feel to gun stores in many states. High-capacity magazines, which some state and federal officials want to ban or restrict, were selling briskly across the country: one Iowa dealer said that 30-round magazines were fetching five times what they sold for just weeks ago.

Gun dealers and buyers alike said that the rapid growth in gun sales — which began climbing significantly after President Obama’s re-election and soared after the Dec. 14 shooting at a school in Newtown, Conn., prompted him to call for new gun laws — shows little sign of abating.

December set a record for the criminal background checks performed before many gun purchases, a strong indication of a big increase in sales, according to an analysis of federal data by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a gun industry trade group. Adjusting the federal data to try to weed out background checks that were unrelated to firearms sales, the group reported that 2.2 million background checks were performed last month, an increase of 58.6 percent over the same period in 2011. Some gun dealers said in interviews that they had never seen such demand.

“If I had 1,000 AR-15s I could sell them in a week,” said Jack Smith, an independent gun dealer in Des Moines, referring to the popular style of semiautomatic rifle that drew national attention after Adam Lanza used one to kill 20 children and 6 adults at a Newtown school. “When I close, they beat on the glass to be let in,” Mr. Smith said of his customers. “They’ll wave money at me.”

Mr. Smith said many people were stocking up on high-capacity magazines in anticipation that they might be banned. Two weeks ago, he said, a 30-round rifle magazine was $12, but it now fetches $60. Popular online retailers were out of many 20- and 30-round rifle magazines.

In Washington, Mr. Biden said the task force he leads is “shooting for Tuesday” to make its recommendations to President Obama about preventing gun violence. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, one of the nation’s leading gun control groups, said its top priority was to close the loopholes that currently allow 40 percent of gun sales to be made without background checks.

Some groups that support gun control urged the White House not to focus too much energy on an assault weapons ban, which they said could be hard to persuade Congress to pass. Officials at Third Way, a left-leaning research group in Washington, urged the president to save his political capital for higher-priority goals like universal background checks and cracking down on gun trafficking.

Outside Greta’s Guns, a gun store in Simi Valley, Calif., about an hour northwest of downtown Los Angeles, several customers said that they opposed any assault weapons ban, but would support more thorough background checks.

George Gray, 60, who said that he already owned “more arms than arms to bear them,” said that he was in favor of more background checks. “If you own a weapon, you should be stable,” said Mr. Gray, who said he had come from Los Angeles to buy a gun for his daughter. “You should be accountable for your actions. I don’t mind stricter background checks. What we’ve done with the mental health in this country — these people used to get care and were in facilities. And in most of these instances, it’s been people with mental problems.” ** page 1 of 2

Page 2 of 2:

Some customers at Greta’s said that they wanted to buy guns before any new gun control measures made it more difficult. Bob Davis, 64, said that he wanted a new pistol. “They want to take guns out of citizens’ hands,” he said. “So as a consequence I ordered a gun. And they’re not going to be able to get me a gun for like six months, because of the backlog. They can’t make guns fast enough.”

The gun industry expected a surge in sales even before the Newtown shooting. Gun sales rose after President Obama was first elected in 2008, and many manufacturers expected an increase in gun sales in the event of his re-election. “We believe the continued economic uncertainty and the outcome of the 2012 presidential election is likely to continue to spur both firearms and ammunition sales,” the Freedom Group, which owns Bushmaster, the company that makes the rifle used in Newtown, wrote in a financial report on the quarter that ended Sept. 30.

The possibility that the federal assault weapons ban — which lasted from 1994 to 2004 — might be reinstated was enough to spur sales of semiautomatic rifles with military-style features.

Dale Raby, who manages one of two Gus’s Guns shops in Green Bay, Wis., said his inventory of guns and ammunition was almost cleaned out, and that most of the interest was in AR-15-style rifles.

“I had almost fistfights over the remaining inventory of that type gun,” he said.

Joel Alioto, 44, an Iraq war veteran who lives in the area, said he recently sold an AR-15 rifle at a gun show for $1,700, more than three times what he had paid for it. “I think the shooting in Connecticut was a terrible thing,” said Mr. Alioto, who is unemployed. “But before the shooting the gun was worth 500 bucks. I don’t think I did anything wrong. I wanted to get my teeth done, get a computer and pay for my first year of Bible college.”

Brad Williamson, one of the owners of Quint’s Sporting Goods in Saraland, Ala., said the waiting lists for some products are double what they normally are — especially for guns that are mentioned in the gun control debate. “Whenever there’s a blip on the news about a particular model, the next day people want to come in wanting whatever they named,” he said. “When Biden makes his recommendation next week, you’re going to see another surge.”

At Georgia Arms in Villa Rica, Ga., west of Atlanta, the ammunition business was brisk, with dozens of the yellow bins that usually held ammunition empty. The Rev. Laurence Hesser, a pastor at Memorial United Methodist Church near Knoxville, stopped by because he had been unable to buy ammunition on the shop’s Web site, which halted sales because inventory was so low.

He likened the current run on ammunition to the rush to buy Twinkies last year after its maker, Hostess Brands, announced it was closing. “It’s the same thing,” he said. “When you are threatened with the possibility that you are going to lose something, you get a bunch of it.
****check links within article at VISIT SITE***

By MICHAEL COOPER and Kim Severson | The New York Times |


 

JL A. (274)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:45 pm
Propaganda and profiteering at its best or worst (depending on your perspective)...all the more reason not to wait to make the tough decisions any longer on how to address.

Logic conundrum: he supports more stringent background checks for purchasers but is the purchaser intending to give to his daughter (who won't get checked)?
 

Carol D. (104)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 2:09 pm
Has America gone mad seems like it. More guns more killing Where will it all end!
 

(8)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 4:45 pm
Grow up America. The world is laughing at you and your archaic gun laws (or lack thereof)
 

Kathy B. (98)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 5:13 pm
And now they're going to be making Kevlar clothing an backpacks for children. We'll continue to be a nation living in fear of something for generations to come. Very sad.
 

Mitchell D. (127)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 5:13 pm
Gregg's comment is so right, it's like this country is still in its adolescence, and having a tantrum as Mommy threatens to take its candy away.
Definitely a case of propaganda and profiteering, at the expense of a gullible public.
 

Kit B. (277)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 7:24 pm

We are a nation in our adolescence, compared with other nations. We do have tantrums and seem to love the FEAR. Kevlar for children's backpacks?
 

JL A. (274)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 7:52 pm
Is this the recipe for how to raise a paranoid generation--Kevlar backpacks, flack vests--helmets 24/7, too on the list of future back to school clothing?
 

(8)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 8:13 pm
Every American has the right to bear arms! (even lunatics) -- A law to prohibit the ownership of assault rifles is in the offing, whoopee do? -- Civilised countries do not allow private ownership of handguns let alone military weapons! and I am thankful for that. It simply means that I do not have to arm myself to the teeth in case my neighbor, who owns 50 guns gets drunk and decides to take over my house...

If every American has the right to bear arms (single shot muskets at the time) - in 2013 I guess things are a little different? -- Given that, I have a great line in Abrahams Tanks, F28 Strike Fighters, Nulear bombs, Armed Drones, Attack Helicopters, Nuclear Submarines etc. -- All at Weapons R Us -- I won't be beaten on price, call me now!
 

Kathy B. (98)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 8:21 pm
Kevlar backpacks makes sense, and I guess they've been out for awhile - not for protection from being shot - but I imagine kids are tough on backpacks & this might make them last longer.

I wonder tho, how long a kid would keep on a Kevlar vest?
 

Naoko I. (260)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 8:36 pm
Call me a coward....I'd rather be shot and killed than kill soneone. No, really. I don't want any guns at hand.
 

Past Member (0)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 9:06 pm
This pisses me off excuse my language
 

Paulo R. (13)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 9:38 pm
There are now more people buying guns and joining the NRA since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

…but here is what you have to remember folks. Buying a gun is not the same as buying a laptop. What can keep you from buying a gun? Not being at least 21 to buy a handgun and 18 to buy a rifle, having been convicted of a felony or a crime of domestic violence, being under indictment for a felony, a fugitive from justice, being an illegal alien, been dishonorably discharged from the military, or having been judged to be mentally incompetent, being a drug addict (or unlawful drug user) - and you must be a resident of the state where you want to buy the handgun. It is a crime to purchase a gun for someone who falls under these categories – the “straw man” purchase. This usually excludes most of the “crazies” out there. The same process is in place for those buying guns at Wal-Mart.

 

Roger M. (0)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 10:35 pm
There is a sickness in the society.
 

pam w. (191)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 6:35 am
Paranoia made visible.
 

Gloria picchetti (287)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 6:50 am
Typical Amerikan mob insanity. Now entire police departments are running out of bullets. Way to go gun idiots!
 

JL A. (274)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 7:57 am
However Paulo the loopholes the laws let all of those excluded buy them at gun shows without any background checks.
 

Arielle S. (314)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 8:01 am
Gun shop here bragged about "the best sales ever" - there is so much stupid out there that all we can do is hope they start shooting each other. I don't suppose ammunition has a shelf life?
 

Scott haakon (4)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 10:32 am
We need better reporting. The misinformation that is out there by most of the press is to frighten the populace.
The "assault rifles" are nothing more that a different design. Like if you wanted pants rather than a poodle skirt. Yes that is really what the noise is about.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 10:54 am

Now THAT Scott Haakon is MISINFORMATION. Any one with a computer has the ability to find good information. Of course, assault rifles have a different design, they a designed and manufactured for use on the field of battle not for our streets or homes.
 

Justin M. (2)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 12:30 pm
Noted
 

Paulo R. (13)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:10 pm
JL, the same laws apply when buying or selling weapons at gun shows.
The AR-15s being sold are not ‘assault’ or automatic. They are still semi-automatic rifles.
Automatic weapons are (generally) illegal in the U.S. for sale to the general public.
 

Robert B. (57)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:23 pm
Let's ban "taking long walks off short piers, carrying a semi-automatic" and see how many lemmings rush out to do it. Why are some people so stupid? Now that they've bought these useless instruments of death, what are they going to do with them? The Gun Shop owners must be laughing all the way to the bank.
 

Don Saito (10)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 2:40 pm
Here’s an unpopular viewpoint you won’t often see (even NRA types don’t like it, despite it being somewhat pro-gun). Guns are good, though I, as an individual, don't own any, and never will. They are, however, good for our overall situation. We are over-populated, and the more guns per capita, the more quickly and easily our population will reduce itself. It's a bit sad that we can't control our numbers in a more humane, logical manner, but because of our animalistic nature, and in lieu of sanity or logic, we practice a number of deadly behaviors (everything from endless war, to consuming animal protein, to gun ownership), and so, we have more death. I believe the culture of violence is simply the natural result of overpopulation, and the unspoken truth is: life is cheap, no matter what religious folk say. There’s too many of us, the planet won’t support our numbers, and sub-consciously we know it – it’s as simple as that.

It always amuses me when the gun enthusiasts wax poetic about "responsible ownership," never acknowledging the fact that nobody is perfect, and anyone can go temporarily insane or make a mistake. The jealous spouse, the depressed teen, the vigilante with low self-esteem, the outraged Faux Noise mind slave - or the kids playing around when the trigger lock got left off, etc.

Know this: if you have a gun in your vicinity, the odds of someone getting killed (whoever, or for whatever reason) goes up exponentially. This includes friends, family, foes, or yourself.

Death is necessary for quality of life. Guns increase death. Ergo, at this period in history, guns are good.
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 2:46 pm

I follow your logic, Don. Though it's a poor way of addressing our population problems, I suppose it makes sense in a bizarre way. Yes, we know that the planet is over-crowded and has been for some time. How many governments ever address this issue to their people?

Very interesting and well thought out comment - thank you.
 

(8)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:35 pm
Sorry to keep coming back here but the American gun culture will never cease to amaze me. Why so many people consider it necessary to keep an assault weapon or even a hand-gun in their houses fascinates me.

That said, it is obvious that the gun culture is so deeply entrenched in the U.S.A. that a few changes to the law won't make it go away. So what to do? I really don't know, but something must be done as gun deaths are on the increase and surely any reasonable society must find that unacceptable.

I would only suggest that, for a start, the 2nd ammendment be completely removed from the books. It is obsolete in today's society. We are no longer under threat from a slave uprising or an invasion by the British. If anyone seriously thinks that arming civillians will prevent a corrupt government froming coming down hard on its citizens, think again. Small arms are in no way capable of withstanding the onslaught of tanks, drones and all the other government gagetry. Therefore the 2nd ammendment is thoroughly obsolete and no defence for the gun lobby or anyone for owning a device designed only to kill.

So how to get rid of the gun culture? This generation is doomed so let's forget them. But our kids have not yet joined the madness so hope springs eternal. Maybe if kids were educated to believe that guns are designed to kill and that killing people is not a good thing to do, maybe it would be better than nothing at all. The education must begin at school because gun crazy parents condone gun crazy kids. Like father, like son.

That is a dream? Maybe, but something must be done. Endless talk about whether,or not, to ban assault weapons and 50 round ammunition clips is the height of futility and will achieve absolutely NOTHING in ridding America of its ingrown toenail.

 

Helen Porter (41)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:35 pm
So you want to give more power to big brother? He would love it!!!

Think, if you're at home with your three year old daughter and your little boys, someone breaks in. Whatcha' gonna do? Call Big Brother to protect your little girl from rape! 911 has some reputation for being too late
with too little.

Oh, you bought and hid a gun? Intruder comes into your little girl's bedroom. You SHOOT the SOB.

Now, what. You're on trial for having an ill legal gun and killing someone with it.

Who's going to mother or father your little girl now!

This gun scare, and I also have wept for the childrlen and the families, this gun
scare plays right into the hands of the government controllers. Bye. Bye freedom!!!

It's an opening that the greedy politcians are eager to gnaw larger!

BIG BROTHER.! We're scared!

OMG, what can we do now. I shot the rapist.

Should I have allowed my little girl............\
 

(8)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 3:43 pm
Following your 'logic' Zee, if everyone had their very own assault weapon no one would ever be raped again?
 

Don Saito (10)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 4:41 pm
Oh, Zee - get real and man-up! If you found your daughter being assaulted by a rapist, unless you're a typically obese American pushover, just you and Mr. Adrenaline would tear the bad guy limb-from-limb. Do you really need to run back to your bedroom, get out your gun, find the key, take off the trigger lock with fumbling fingers, fumble more trying to load the bullets, run back and start blazing away with shaking hands? You'd more likely hit your own daughter than the bad guy. I know you'd like to imagine yourself as the next Bruce Willis or Arrhnold, but you're probably really just a weak paranoid scardy-cat who thinks having a gun will make you *strong*. Like I said: Get real, man-up, and read my previous post, a few posts up. Unless you're hopelessly/mindlessly "proud," you'll see the logic and change your attitude.
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 4:41 pm
Bizarre, immature and nutty gun culture.
 

Lois Jordan (55)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 4:50 pm
There's a big problem when more regulations are placed on toy guns than real guns.
 

(8)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 5:26 pm
Perhaps not a problem Lois. Why do toy guns exist? A great introduction to real ones?
 

greenplanet e. (157)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 6:32 pm
I think it would be difficult to shoot an intruder accurately in the dark. Statistics tell that usually the wrong person is hit.
 

Scott haakon (4)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 8:36 pm
I find it so amusing that people think there are no national or internal threats. Yet there are. As am armed country we have a huge advantage that any country or terrorist will have a nations that is not easily cowed. Time changes. people do not see the many threats. Why because some are very subtle out in the real world there is always enemies,rivals and those who are jealous.
Criminals and insane persons will always be with us. Guns,are used to keep the would be victims alive.
 

Dana W. (9)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 9:15 pm
Perhaps if people had to register inside a police station to buy a firearm, PAY for a background check, wait 30 days to get a gun, and were limited to one gun per person it would help. At least lawmakers are looking at this issue and there is a lot of public debate which I think is good.
 

(8)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 9:22 pm
Precisely what threats Scott?... Paranoid?
 

Kit B. (277)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 10:03 pm

Greg, you can not understand American gun culture because it is a part of our culture. I know about guns, probably more than I want to know. My Dad was military and I learned to handle a gun from a young age. That does not make me an expert, it means I do know something about guns. I do understand our culture and how it came to fruition. I don't fear Big Brother. Though I have confronted one intruder in my home, I did not shoot. I did what I would hope a rational being would do and call the police. Though until they arrived, I stayed in one room with a gun I am adept at using.

Don. is correct and even trained police can address that issue. When we are confronted with an unexpected and terrifying situation our body does release those chemicals that bring on the "flight or fight" responses. That leaves the vast majority of us temporarily frozen in time.

I think Dana has an excellent solution, we can insure that fewer criminals have guns with a full and complete background check, and I would add one of mental health. We must search for logical and reasonable possible solutions, if we are to get this in check.
 

jo M. (3)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 10:15 pm
Yes, gun violence does help reduce population growth, one could look at it as a silver lining, as one could view heart disease, cancer, aids, diabetes, flu epidemics and anything else that gets rid of excess people.
 

(8)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 10:34 pm
"Greg, you can not understand American gun culture" - I understand it only too well - It is time to get rid of the absurd'American gun culture' and the gun ethic- By any means possible.

No other nation on earth is as paranoid or lives in constant fear of attack. But I guess that is just the American way. We are 'scared' of a (non existent) terrorist attack so we will declare full blown wars on two innocent countries and slaughter millions of innocent people, in the vague hope that one or two of them were actually terrorists, militants, insurgents, about to attack the USA. (Self defense?)

We are 'scared' of a (non-existent) threat of imminent invasion by a neighbor or our government so we will arm ourselves to the teeth, 'just in case'.

The propaganda your government spews out in order to start and maintain wars is exactly the same as the garbage the NRA vomits forth to promote gun ownership/ gun manufacturers. Fear...Why can Americans not see this? And act accordingly. Just get on with your lives like everyone else does...There is NO threat hanging over your heads.
 

Naoko I. (260)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 10:59 pm
Kit, I don't understand your (American) gun culture and don't want to understand it, either. Just wonder, do you think it (the gun culture) to be good or bad? If you think it's bad or at least not good or something annoying, don't you think it is the time to try to change?
If America claimes the prevalence of weapons and killings of people using them is its culture and a thing not to be changed, how is it differ from, for example, Islamic foundamentalists say stoning women is their "culture" or we Japanese say whaling is our tradition?
Why is the United States of America so sacred not to be changed it ways??
 

Ro H. (0)
Monday January 14, 2013, 5:19 am
ty
 

Many Feathers (130)
Monday January 14, 2013, 6:08 am
thanks
 

Kenneth L. (321)
Monday January 14, 2013, 8:00 am
"If I had 1,000 AR-15s I could sell them in a week," Not in Canada you couldn't. Nor do I think in New Zealand and Japan (where Greg and Naoko live) or in many other countries. Maybe that says a lot about the U.S. and paranoid Americans right there.

 

Kit B. (277)
Monday January 14, 2013, 9:24 am

@Naoko:

Yes, I do believe we must get our American gun culture under control. Is it good or bad? It's a direct result of years of propaganda by the NRA and fellow lobby groups that have created a non issue by telling citizens, repeatedly that they have a right to own any form of weapon they can afford to buy. I believe any American not already deeply immersed in this propaganda, can read the constitution and understand the actual purpose and reasoning behind the second amendment.

The military grade assault rifle is designed for use on a field of battle. It can be easily defined and should not be in the hands of the civilians on American soil. The idea of back ground checks for both past history of violent crimes and a history of mental illness, along with minimum of a 3 day waiting period does not infringe on any one's rights.
 

JL A. (274)
Monday January 14, 2013, 10:50 am
You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last week.
 

Winn Adams (187)
Monday January 14, 2013, 12:19 pm
Purchasing or owning a gun is not going to stop gun violence in America.
 

Paulo R. (13)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 12:16 am
My idea for gun control is to issue gun owners an ID with photo and fingerprint that expires after 3 years. We require car plates to be renewed once a year at the DMV! Americans need to end this fear of being fingerprinted. Most countries in the world require fingerprinting on personal identification.
 

Deborah W. (6)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 6:10 am
Just another anti-government counter balance ... much like Executive Order when wanted but can't be obtained any other way.
 

bob m. (32)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 9:55 pm


You have not been made a slave again to the spirit of fear but have been given the spirit of LOVE....POWER....and a sound mind.... How do they reconcile this in black powder ethos.. ????...if they know God at all.
 

Russell M. (0)
Saturday January 26, 2013, 3:30 pm
My emotional response to the Kennedy and King assassinations was to join Handgun Control Inc. But then I started to read about guns, violence, crime and their relationship to one another. Each new gun-control law only seemed to prime the pump for more such laws, so I joined the American NRA. More calls for new laws, so I joined Gun Owners of America. Then Hungerford and Dunblane and the subsequent proscriptions on firearms in Britain, so I joined Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, The Second Amendment Foundation, and Citizens` Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms. As a veteran of military service I learned that fear and emotion are poor training for disaster, crises, and tragedy. They are also a sure way to destroy a great nation, "conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
 

Klaus Peters (9)
Tuesday January 29, 2013, 5:43 am
Well, so much for gun control, $$$
 
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