Despite a weak economy, gun sales are continuing to increase amid concerns that incoming lawmakers will institute a new gun ban on law-abiding Americans, according to a report by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
A recent poll of hunters and target shooters by Southwick Associates Inc., in which 80% of respondents said they expect it will become more difficult to purchase firearms under the incoming administration and congress, explains the increase in sales.
“Sales of firearms, in particular handguns and semi-automatic hunting and target rifles, are fast outpacing inventory,” said NSSF President and CEO Stephen L. Sanetti. “It's clear that many people are concerned about possible gun bans under the incoming Congress and are reacting accordingly.”
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the large increase in demand for firearms has led to a shortage of Form 4473s — the Firearms Transaction Record which must be filled out any time a person buys a firearm from a licensed retailer. As a temporary measure, ATF is allowing FFLs to photocopy the form 4473 in its entirety until they receive their orders from the ATF Distribution Center. NSSF has reminded retailers of the newly launched Electronic Form 4473 which is free and downloadable from the ATF Web site.
Final year-end NICS data reveals a total of 12,709,023 background checks reported in 2008, up 14% from 2007.