Well folks, we have four more years of Barack H. Obama. Whatever your personal political views, the people have spoken, and a Democrat remains in the White House. As it pertains to our business, gun control was somewhat of back-burner issue during most of this election. However, the President gave brief glimpses into the future of firearms legislation during the second presidential debate. Unlike Bill Clinton, it would have been more difficult to deal with such a hot-button issue on Obama’s first term and expect to be re-elected, so the President seemed to avoid it as long as he could. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban from the past is likely to show its ugly head in the very near future, but this time it may be tougher. Diane Feinstein met with ATF members on October 2, 2012 to discuss a new ban that would lack the grandfather clause. This would effectively end the legal sale of scary guns for the entire country. Scary guns would include guns with characteristics like telescopic buttstocks, high capacity magazines, and pistol gripped carbines. In their mind, a collapsible buttstock and a comfortable grip make a firearm more of a public nuisance.
What will these potential changes mean for the firearms industry? In the previous case, there was some warning that certain items would be illegal to sell to civilians. In preparation, manufacturers produced and stockpiled massive amounts of high-capacity magazines and other components it knew would be illegal to build. Once the ban began, selling your existing stockpile was still legal, and the resulting rise in prices made the dealers extremely profitable. Overall, demand for firearms and related products remained high throughout the 10-year prohibition. Ultimately, the law did little or nothing to curb violence.
Industry leaders expect demand to remain high during Barack Obama’s second term. Concern over gun bans fueled by less than stellar production capacity from manufacturers writes a recipe for an expensive future for firearms buyers. This will of course apply mainly on guns that the ban would potentially deem illegal. Since we have some idea about which guns the politicians are after, you may have noticed prices rising early.
High-capacity magazines will undoubtedly be a hot item, and anything that looks tactical will clear the shelves. We know all this from history, which unfortunately, may be destined to repeat itself. What happens when the supply dries up? Provided the new ban doesn’t turn gun owners into criminals overnight, prices will remain high and most owners of the firearms in question will hold on to what they have or sell at a very hefty profit.
To say the least, it is going to be an interesting four years. The last time the Washington implemented a firearms ban, it had an expiration date. According to Change.gov in 2008, the website of the office of then President-Elect Barack Obama, listed a detailed agenda for the forthcoming administration. The stated positions included “Making the expired Federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.” This statement originally appeared on Barack Obama’s campaign website. The agenda statement later appeared on the administration’s website, WhiteHouse.gov, with its wording intact. As of October 9, 2012, the statement appeared within the Urban Policy section of Change.gov, under the heading “Address Gun Violence in Cities.”