CANYON COUNTY — According to some local gun shop owners, Canyon County residents will have plenty of guns and ammunition for whatever they think is on the political and economic horizon after President Barack Obama’s re-election.
Many have seen a spike in gun and ammunition sales since the Nov. 6 vote. Some tie the spike directly to the fear that Obama will enact stricter guns laws if not confiscate guns outright.
Customers are “lining up deep” to buy guns at his Caldwell store, Al’s Pawn & Sports manager RJ Fox said Wednesday.
“Everybody’s in a panic” that the Obama administration will impose gun restrictions, Fox said. “I’m hearing from people that the U.N. is going to come and take their guns, which is preposterous.
“Everyone’s making sure they can get what they can get.”
Obama hasn’t issued any executive orders or pushed for any bills on gun control. But he said during a presidential debate on Oct. 16 that he’s trying to “get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally.”
“Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced,” Obama said.
That may have been enough to cause a run on those kinds of guns.
Alpha Omega Services owner Roberta Regnier said sales at her Nampa business are up 100 percent this month over last. She doesn’t link that to Obama, because she said Romney is just as anti-gun. But she said her customers are preparing for economic upheaval.
“They can tell things are looking bad,” Regnier said. “They may need it (guns and ammunition) to protect themselves. They may think that the government is probably going to take away their rights so they’re going to be needing it for self protection.”
Regnier said she agrees with her customers, and she said if the food stamp program so many rely on ceases to exist, people will need guns to protect themselves from hungry thieves.
John Cox said he has experienced a little spike in his gun sales and a lot of talk. He owns Boulevard Gun and Pawn in Nampa.
“Everybody’s afraid that Obama’s going to ban guns and tax ammo,” Cox said. “The same rumors that we heard four years ago.”
RK Gunsmithing owner Robert Krone said his increase in business is “not as crazy” as it was four years ago when Obama was first elected. He said only about five to 10 percent of the customers in his Nampa business are concerned the government is going after guns.
“He (Obama) has bigger fish to fry than going after Second Amendment rights,” Krone said.
But Fox called the new Obama administration the “best salesman” for guns since 2008.
Not all gun sellers welcome the trend. Buyers can clean out inventories that are hard to replace because of the high demand, leaving some dealers without the more sought-after firearms.
“If you put on a little bit of panic about what the administration might do, it’s claiming a lot of guns out of the pipeline,” Cox said.
If people buy enough ammunition to last for years, Larry’s Sporting Goods in Nampa owner Larry Livesay said, they won’t return to stores to potentially make related purchases.
“I know some businesses that try to promote that panic,” Livesay said, “but I’m not one of them. I don’t jump on that bandwagon.”
As for Black Friday, people could be buying more than flat panel televisions and computer tablets.
“I think it’s going to be a major gun buying and ammo buying day, too,” Fox said.
- The Associated Press contributed to this report.