Gun sales, Concealed Licenses in Seattle & WA soar after Obama win

This is a discussion on Gun sales, Concealed Licenses in Seattle & WA soar after Obama win within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 9642 concealed pistol licenses were issued in March, up from 6825 in March of last year. Over 37,000 handguns have been sold so far this ...

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Thread: Gun sales, Concealed Licenses in Seattle & WA soar after Obama win

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Gun sales, Concealed Licenses in Seattle & WA soar after Obama win

    9642 concealed pistol licenses were issued in March, up from 6825 in March of last year.

    Over 37,000 handguns have been sold so far this year...


    Local News | Gun sales in Seattle area soar after Obama win | Seattle Times Newspaper

    Gun sales in Seattle area soar after Obama win

    By Steve Miletich

    Seattle Times staff reporter

    The odds are greater these days that you or someone around you is packing a gun.

    Applications for concealed-weapons licenses have jumped dramatically in the Seattle area as pro-gun groups have loudly warned that the Obama administration wants to restrict gun rights.

    Sales of guns and ammunition also are surging at levels one Bellevue gun-shop owner calls "crazy."

    "It is a very high mistrust factor," said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Bellevue-based Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, noting the upswing in concealed-weapon applications and firearms sales has "continued pretty much unabated" since October.

    That is when people realized Barack Obama was going to win the presidential election and began paying closer attention to his record of supporting gun controls, Gottlieb said.

    The mistrust stems, in part, from Obama's pledge to reinstate the ban on assault-style weapons and require stricter regulation of firearm sales at gun shows. But the Obama administration has not pushed any major gun-control initiatives and on Thursday, the president backed away from seeking the ban. He also made it clear during the campaign that he supports individual gun ownership.

    But it is questionable whether anything Obama says will satisfy the skeptics.

    The National Rifle Association has led the drumbeat, repeatedly warning its members that Obama poses a major threat to gun rights.

    In Yakima, a sign on the counter of one pawnshop and gun store reads, "GET YOUR GUN'S [sic] NOW BEFORE OBAMA DOES," according to a recent story in the Yakima Herald-Republic.

    In King and Snohomish counties, applications for licenses to carry a concealed weapon started to rise around the time of the presidential election. Applicants must go through background checks, with most approved, police officials said.

    The trend began in October, when 86 applications were submitted to Seattle police, a spike from the usual number of monthly applications. Before then, roughly 40 to 60 applications were submitted each month between January and September.

    In November and December, Seattle police received 183 applications, compared with 67 during the same two months in 2007 a 173 percent increase.

    The number dipped to 58 in January but shot up again, with 100 in February and 114 in March.

    The King County Sheriff's Office has seen similar increases. In November, the Sheriff's Office granted 590 licenses; in December 567; and in January 557. In 2007, the totals for those three months, respectively, were far lower, at 275, 312 and 369.

    In Snohomish County, the Sheriff's Office processed 3,321 applications from October through March. That is a 30 percent increase over the same period in 2008, when the total was 2,545.

    Statewide, the number of concealed-weapon licenses granted remained steady in 2007 and 2008, with about 71,000 each year.

    But the number has already reached more than 27,000 through mid-April, according to the state Department of Licensing. Last month, for example, 9,642 licenses were granted, compared with 6,825 in March 2008.

    It isn't known how many of those people were motivated by concerns about Obama's gun views. But Rebecca Hover, spokeswoman for the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office, said, "Some people will mention that when they apply" for a license.

    Ban on weapon feared

    Gun and ammunition buyers are specifically citing fears that Obama will move to reinstate the assault-weapon ban, first enacted under former President Clinton, or sharply boost the excise tax on ammunition, said Wade Gaughran, owner of Wade's Eastside Guns & Indoor Range in Bellevue, one of the area's largest gun stores.

    A ban would cover semiautomatic assault-style weapons, along with large-capacity magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and some other features that make rapid firing easier.

    Since the election, Wade's business has doubled the sale of guns and ammunition, particularly expensive assault-style weapons such as AR-15 and AK-46 semi-automatic rifles, Gaughran said.

    "It's been crazy," he added.

    Ammunition, in particular, has flown off shelves. "Guys who would normally buy a box are buying a case," Gaughran said.

    Handgun sales in Washington state jumped from 76,400 in 2007 to 98,010 in 2008, according to the state Department of Licensing, and have topped 37,000 through the middle of April.

    Stock in gunmaker Smith & Wesson has soared since Oct. 30.

    Nationally, FBI background checks since November for firearms sales have jumped more than 30 percent compared to last year. October through November 2008 saw the largest number of quarterly background checks since they were launched in 1998 as part of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act passed earlier, data shows.

    The rise in gun sales and concealed-weapons applications also has been tied to the battered economy. Even though crime rates remain low, some people predict an increase in crime or, as some have promoted on talk radio, an economic meltdown with resulting chaos.

    Gottlieb, of the Bellevue pro-gun organization, called the meltdown talk "irresponsible rhetoric from both sides." But crime worries are more legitimate, he said, because "when the economy goes south, crime always goes north."

    Still, Gottlieb said, the real issue is the Obama factor, including recent statements from Attorney General Eric Holder about reinstating the assault-weapon ban, and comments by him and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about U.S. guns fueling drug violence in Mexico.

    "When you add those things together, one thing after another keeps compounding and the sales go up," Gottlieb said.

    Gottlieb said backlash from a newly disclosed Department of Homeland Security report is likely to further spur sales. The report warns that the economic downturn and the election of the first African-American president might spark right-wing radicalization and recruitment.

    President's stance

    So far, however, Obama has shown little passion for promoting gun-control measures, following his written campaign promise to "protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns."

    In Mexico City on Thursday, Obama signaled he will not seek renewal of the assault-weapon ban while saying he would step up enforcement of laws banning the transfer of such guns across the border, The Associated Press reported.

    Obama realized such a move would be unpopular in politically key U.S. states and among Republicans and some conservative Democrats, according to AP. Newsweek magazine reported in its current edition that the administration was backing away from gun measures to concentrate on economic and health-care issues.

    "Have we seen any strong movement at the federal level? No," said Kristen Comer, executive director of Seattle-based Washington CeaseFire, which works to prevent gun violence.

    Obama is limited in what he can do because of the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling last year that individual Americans have a right to own guns, Comer said.

    What is fueling the worry is "a lot of propaganda" and fears that make it "easy to get people to act," she said.

    Comer thinks the sudden influx in gun ownership could lead to more suicides. Access to guns plays a major role in suicides, even more than mental illness, she said.

    Hover, the Snohomish County sheriff's spokeswoman, expressed concern about accidental shootings by untrained buyers, pointing to the case of a 6-year-old Marysville girl who was fatally shot by her father in their home last year.

    The father had been drinking double shots of vodka while he cleaned his guns, according to court documents.

    Gottlieb dismissed the concern, calling such incidents random while saying many gun owners undergo training or have it from military experience.

    Seattle Times news researcher David Turim contributed to this story, which also includes information from Bloomberg News and Times archives.

    Steve Miletich: 206-464-3302 or smiletich@seattletimes.com

    Copyright 2009 The Seattle Times Company
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Senior Member Array tbrenke's Avatar
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    I am glad to say I was part of that number. but prior to the election by about 3 weeks.
    "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution, which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." -1792, James Madison
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    Ex Member Array GreenHorn's Avatar
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    I'm in that Mix too!

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Here's another one from the PI with more graphs.

    Gun ownership grows, following national trend

    It's a long one so I'll just post the link. It's worth clicking through to read.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Senior Member Array RemMod597's Avatar
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    From the Seattle P-I's photo caption to the story:

    "Luiz Santos chambers a 40mm round in his weapon at the Pembroke Gun & Range on April 9, 2009 in Pembroke Park, Fla. Ammunition suppliers nationwide are reporting a shortage due in part to a sharp rise in gun sales after the election of President Obama that are said to be fueled by fears his administration will usher in more restrictive gun laws. Other factors for the shortage are reported to be the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and fear of social upheaval due to the worsening economy."

    I wonder if he carries his Duster IWB?

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    Sounds to me like Seattle is getting to be a better place to vacation...
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    Senior Member Array LeCalsey's Avatar
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    I have an uncle and a cousin in the Seattle area. Both voted for Hussein and are deeply regretting the vote as of now. They both are way into guns and hunting in general. My cousin owns 7 AR15s and told me after the election that if he had known (Or bothered to look) about Obamas record, he would have voted otherwise

    Day late...dollar short.
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeCalsey View Post
    I have an uncle and a cousin in the Seattle area. Both voted for Hussein and are deeply regretting the vote as of now. They both are way into guns and hunting in general. My cousin owns 7 AR15s and told me after the election that if he had known (Or bothered to look) about Obamas record, he would have voted otherwise

    Day late...dollar short.
    The hype here in Seattle was unbelievable. Not only the hype as a matter of fact, the outright prejudice against conservatives. A local rag called "The Stranger" ran an article that had photos and addresses of homes of people who had McCain signs in their yard.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Member Array coltrane59's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting...interesting stats. My gun buying has definitely been reassessed in the last few months...by the way Matiki, I'm really liking the CW9 I bought from you. Took it to the range and was happy with how it shoots. :)

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    Member Array alienbogey's Avatar
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    I'm part of the stats in Western WA too, but dang it do I want to know where the 40mm ammunition and the weapons that fire it are.

    Biggest gun I've ever fired was 20mm.

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by coltrane59 View Post
    Thanks for posting...interesting stats. My gun buying has definitely been reassessed in the last few months...by the way Matiki, I'm really liking the CW9 I bought from you. Took it to the range and was happy with how it shoots. :)
    Glad to hear the CW9 is treating you well, I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of it's replacement (PM9).

    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    New Member Array Little Weaz's Avatar
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    I would be interested to hear some stats concerning the east side of the state. We live in a small community in N.E. WA and there are more people that carry than don't. It is not uncommon to see someone showing a friend their new rifle or pistol in the parking lot at work, in the parking lot at the store, or just about anywhere really. Right now Turkey season just started, and the gun/hunting stores are packed. The only 3 places to get "supplies" is the one gun store, the hardware store, or WalMart. I have heard that we have one of only a few Wal marts that sells guns. I tried to get reloading stuff at a WalMart in Spokane, and they thought I was nutz.

    Weaz

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    Member Array Jeepasaurus's Avatar
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    My Dad and I both are included in those statistics. I've been buying every box of ammo I can get my hands on. I have even picked up a set of dies for reloading 9mm.

    Little Weaz, are you up around Curlew?
    Confuse a liberal, use logic and facts.


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    New Member Array Little Weaz's Avatar
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    We are in the Kettle Falls Area, about 80 miles north of Spokane. The stores I was referring to are actually in Colville a Few miles from us. We don't have much at all here in Kettle Falls and most of our shopping is done in Colville or Spokane.

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    Member Array gunfighter48's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Weaz View Post
    We are in the Kettle Falls Area, about 80 miles north of Spokane. The stores I was referring to are actually in Colville a Few miles from us. We don't have much at all here in Kettle Falls and most of our shopping is done in Colville or Spokane.

    Small world, I lived in Curlew from 1960 to 1967. We have relatives in Kettle Falls and Colville. We used to go to Colville once a month to stock up on supplies. Was a great place to grow up back then.
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