A Run on Firearms
Maybe. We thought there was a run on firearms back in March. I say thought, because as robust as sales were in March, those figures do not hold a candle to today’s numbers. There was a huge run that started just before the election. It increased substantially after President Obama’s re-election. Numbers were still high right up to the Sandy Hook shootings when they went off the charts setting new records.
The FBI NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System) background checks confirms these numbers. Of course, NICS only tracks sales through Federal Firearms License holders. Guns sold between private parties do not require a NICS check. As of this writing that is still the case. However, this is the sale the politicians have dubbed the gun show loophole. Look for this to change in the near future.
Another myth thrown around by politicians is the number of NICS and its relationship to the actual number of new guns on the street. NICS is a background check on an individual, not the sale of a weapon. Likewise, it does not distinguish whether the sale was of a new or used firearm.
A fact we can believe is that demand is higher than manufacturers can supply. Hi-Points are selling out faster than supply—need I say more—never mind highly sought models from Colt, Daniel Defense, Rock River, Springfield Armory and others.
Ammo Shortages or Cuts?
Working at Cheaper Than Dirt, you get know a little something about ammo sales. Ammo prices are going up—there’s no two ways about that. Certain metals are in shorter supply driving up prices, but most of all ammo is flying off the shelf faster than manufacturers can produce it. As suppliers attempt to meet demand by ramping up production and authorizing overtime, costs increase and prices follow.
Why is demand going up so fast? I just heard another call from New York Democrat Chuck Schumer saying military style ammunition and military grade ammo needs to be banned. I am not sure where to even start with that one.
The military adopted the .223 over the .308 in the early 60s i.e. over 50 years ago. The argument stated the 7.62x51mm was too powerful, offered excessive recoil and the weight of the ammunition decreased fire rate. How does any of that equate to calls to limit the .223 cartridge?
Today’s military uses a 62-grain bullet. Originally, they selected 55-grain but determined it fragmented to a degree that it did too much tissue damage. Also the requirement that the bullet be able to penetrate a steel helmet at 600 yards ruled against the 55-grain.
So what are Schumer and others really against? The .223 is not as powerful as the .308. The 55-grain .223 is more devastating to tissue than the 62-grain model used by the military, which Schumer calls out as needing regulation. The truth of the matter is that rimfire .22 LR cartridges are responsible for more civilian deaths than any other single caliber on a historical basis, along with 9mm, .40S&W and .38 Special over the last 15 years or so. Well, the military does use the 9mm—is that what Schumer really wants to ban? I must say, his lack of knowledge—and common sense—makes it very confusing.
Evil Black Rifle vs. Modern Sporting Rifle
Call it what you want, it is all semantics and feel-good politics anyway. Ask anyone who served in the military—you won’t find a single military member who carried a semi-automatic Bushmaster AR-15 into combat. None will claim to have used one while training in boot camp or slung over their shoulder while on sentry duty—never mind for an assault.
Are MSRs an assault weapon? I recently read a report on a test of a Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion for NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Series. Should I run down to my local dealership, throw down my $22k and submit my application to race Daytona?
The cars have the same general appearance, same name, made by the same manufacturer, and share common parts—both have tires, engine, steering wheel and so on. Both will exceed any speed limit in the United States. Yet, the anti-gunners and politicians are not interested in banning the Ford Focus—and don’t even get me started on military-style assault vehicles such as the Hummer on our unprotected city streets!
I often see exotic sports cars and sport bikes designed to go 100 mph in second gear and top out at over 170 mph without breaking a sweat. The shooters at Columbine—which took place right in the middle of the 1994-2004 Assault Weapons Ban—used a car to get to their crime, as did Aurora and Sandy Hook and the rest. Perhaps all of these tragedies could have been prevented with better regulations of automobiles. I suppose the UAW would never let a politician proffer that ridiculous suggestion, but who is stopping them from making the same distortion with the substitution of guns for the cars?
Is Obama, the UN, or the EPA Coming for Our Guns?
Coming, yes? Will they get it? That depends on you. Obama is certainly working with the U.N. to enact a Small Arms Treaty that would effectively outlaw our guns and subvert the Second Amendment, but it isn’t that easy. This is more sabre rattling than substance.
Gun control has proven to be a losing proposition for most politicians on either side of the aisle. The Constitution provides that the president “shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur” in Article II, Section 2. Fat chance Obama would get two-thirds for that kind of treaty.
The second attack is going to come in the form of legislation. Again, there is the problem of voter resentment and the retribution most legislators would receive. After the Crime Bill of 1994 (Assault Weapons Ban) the Democrats and Republicans who voted in favor of the bill were hammered at reelection.
Obama also has the problem of political capital. Convincing the number of politicians necessary to vote in favor of a major gun ban would be extremely costly to the other programs and initiatives the President wants to champion and would be a long shot at any rate.
Finally, this leads us to the biggest threat of our Second Amendment rights—presidential executive orders. The principle sounds more ominous than it may be. Presidential executive orders have been around since before the signing of the Constitution in 1789. It went unchallenged until the 1950s when Truman tried to bring all of the steel mills under federal control through a presidential executive order. The Supreme Court slapped it down stating the president was trying to make law rather than clarifying an existing law or act of Congress.
Using parallel thinking, the Supreme Court has upheld the Second Amendment. Obama trying to outlaw guns or sales of guns through an executive order would be paramount to making a law, not clarifying an existing law and would be in direct opposition to the Supreme Court’s previous rulings. Therefore, President Obama’s chance of getting an executive order past the Supreme Court would be next to impossible—even after what happened with Obama Care.
I would tentatively say our gun rights are safe for the foreseeable future. Likely, the biggest threat would be to high-capacity magazines. However, it is important to note that our gun rights are ONLY safe because we—the voters and gun owners—are vocal in opposition to any legislation that limits our rights. We have shown this through telephone calls, letters, petitions, lobbyists, the NRA and other organizations and our statements via the ballot box.