Obama’s a Boon to the Bullet Business

Gun owners can’t fill their chambers fast enough.

Last Thursday, Alan Gottlieb got a call from a member of his Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms wondering if the organization sold ammunition in bulk. Firearm enthusiasts, it appears, are having a hard time loading up on bullets and guns as they disappear at record speed from sporting-goods stores nationwide. "The run on guns and ammunition is real," Gottlieb says. Blame the Obama administration, but it also means that one industry is doing well amid the economic apocalypse.The FBI publishes the number of requests for instant criminal background checks they receive each year. The most common reason for asking for an insta-check is gun sales. Over the past decade, the number of checks each month ranged between 500,000 and 1.2 million. But in November 2008, the number of checks jumped to over 1.5 million, and has stayed well above the monthly average ever since.The man who answered the phone at Butch's Discount Guns off Green Lake says ammunition has been flying off the shelves much faster than manufacturers can restock area stores. But when asked why, he replied: "I can't answer that and I wouldn't answer that to the news." He then politely got off the phone before providing his name.The man answering the phone at Stan Baker Sports on Lake City Way also wouldn't give his name, but was far more direct about why people might be stocking up on guns and ammo. "It's a general concern that Obama and his buddies are going to be kicking down our front doors," he says. "Keep voting for them liberals and pretty soon you'll have no freedom left at all." Then he hung up the phone.Gottlieb says that for most gun owners, the concern is that the Obama administration will seriously crack down on the number and type of guns and ammunition available. Earlier this year, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) introduced HR 45, which would tighten requirements for background checks and other licensing rules. Gottlieb says he doesn't expect Rush's bill to pass Congress, but thinks that with support from the likes of the President and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, parts of the legislation will be slipped into other bills. Hence, he says, "People are stockpiling."All that demand's been good for business, says Howard, a salesman at Wade's Eastside Guns in Bellevue who declined to provide his last name. Not only is his employer not feeling the effects of the recession, but Howard says sales are up.Paranoia may be a harbinger of death for banks and stock markets, but apparently it's great for guns.

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