Sales of firearms and ammunition have spiked since President Barack Obama’s re-election, local gun-shop owners said Monday.
“It’s big-time gone through the roof,” said Jim Losie of Losie’s Gun Shop in Oneonta. “The biggest problem right now is just getting the stuff, because the manufacturers can’t keep up with the … demand.”
He said that gun sales have risen 20 percent to 25 percent since the election, and that he had received a letter from gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson, saying that its production was 398 days behind schedule. Another gun maker, Ruger, wrote that it had a backlog of 1 million firearms, he said.
Obama said during an Oct. 16 debate with GOP candidate Mitt Romney that he would like to see a ban on such weapons reinstated.
The federal government prohibited the manufacture and sale of fully automatic and certain semi-automatic firearms from 1994 to 2004, but they’ve been legal in much of the United States since that law expired. New York has an assault-weapon law that’s essentially the same as the expired federal law. As with the federal statute, it bars automatic weapons, except for the military and law enforcement, and focuses as much on the magazines that hold ammunition for semi-automatics as it does on the guns themselves. AK-47s, for example, are legal if their magazines hold fewer than 10 rounds or if they were manufactured before 1994. There are other restrictions on semi-automatics, but magazine size and manufacture date are the primary ones.
Sales of “semiautomatics are very high — AR-15s, AK-47s, anything like that,” Losie said.
Linda Fitzpatrick, owner of Lyn’s Leisure Tyme Gun Shop in Davenport, agreed that sales have been rising, although she couldn’t say how much hers had risen.
“The thing is, they’ve been up during (Obama’s) whole administration,” she said. “But yes, since the election they’re up even more.”