Gun sales go through the roof |

Gun sales go through the roof

Pete Fowler
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Chad Spangler Post Independent

RIFLE, Colorado ” With Barack Obama’s presidency approaching, Mark Sage is among the people who have been stocking up on guns.

“I’m already bought up,” he said. “My wife cut me off.”

He and other gun owners across the country worry that the new president will hike taxes to make guns and ammunition more expensive, or impose restrictions on semi-automatic weapons and handguns. But a spokesman for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence recently told CNN the buying spree is “goofy” and widespread talk of banning guns is a “sales pitch.”

Sage’s arsenal consists of hunting rifles, shotguns, .22-caliber firearms for the kids and a couple handguns. He owns guns for hunting and for personal protection.

Sage, an oil and gas worker who moved to Rifle from California, was picking up some orange hunting clothing for his son at the Timberline Sporting Goods store in Rifle Wednesday. He said people into automatic and semi-automatic weapons are worried those will be banned altogether, while people like himself are more concerned about taxes raising the price of guns and ammunition.

Brothers, and Timberline owners, Brian and Kevin Rider said it’s hard to tell exactly how much, but their gun and ammunition sales have definitely picked up since polls showed Obama with a strong lead in October. Kevin Rider said Obama should be more clear on his gun rights position.

Rider read the comment about talk of gun bans being a “sales pitch” and found it ridiculous.

“We didn’t want this. We didn’t campaign for this guy,” he said. “I’d rather not see people buying out of fear.”

The National Rifle Association says on its website, “It’s not a matter of figuring out if Obama’s anti-gun or not. We already know he is. What we’re looking for now are signs of how aggressive he will be in trying to enact his gun control policies.”

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence endorsed Obama and called his election a “decisive victory for common sense gun laws.” It says the NRA spent more than $10 million to try to defeat Obama and used “scare tactics about gun confiscation.”

According to the Brady campaign, Obama regularly supported gun-control measures, including a ban on semi-automatic “assault weapons” and a limit on handgun purchases to one a month.

Obama has said he supports the gun rights and traditions of hunters and other law-abiding Americans and that law-abiding gun owners have nothing to fear from his administration.

At The Tradesman in Rifle, no one was even answering the phone Tuesday.

“Gun sales have been absolutely insane since Obama won the election,” a recorded phone message said. “I wish I could answer the phone more but I am just way too busy.”

Lance Clem, a spokesman for the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, said Colorado gun buyers set a new record on Saturday, when there were 1,831 requests for background checks in one day. A typical day sees around 300 requests.

“This is way beyond what is typical during hunting season,” Clem said.

Clem said CBI has around 18 people working full time to do background checks on would-be gun buyers, and about six extra CBI administrators or supervisors are getting overtime pay to help meet the increased demand for background checks.

“We’re estimating well over 180,000 checks this year and the highest so far until this year was in 2006 with 161,000,” Clem said.

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