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Target Biden: Gun industry readies its biggest political war ever

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4 days ago Paul Bedard
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Joe Biden talks funny about guns.

Like when he said in October that people should shoot attackers in the leg, as if it would stop them from firing. Or when he suggested in 2013 that people should unload their double-barreled shotgun into the air to scare away home invaders. Then what?

But as silly or uneducated as those comments might sound, the gun industry is taking Biden extremely seriously because he is pushing an agenda that threatens their business.

“The strongest gun safety ticket in U.S. history was elected president and vice president,” tweeted Shannon Watts, founder of the anti-gun Moms Demand Action.

Gun lobbyists and dealers told Secrets that they believe her, especially since Biden has called for a ban on AR-style weapons, of which there are 20 million in the country, limits to ammo magazines, demands for gun registration, and a possible buyback program. And he could do some of that by executive order or through agency rulings.

They also note that Biden has suggested that he would name anti-gun former Rep. Beto O’Rourke as his gun czar, and the Texan has suggested an AR ban.

What’s more, the industry fears that the federal agency that oversees guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, is anti-gun and will expand it’s recent efforts to tighten rules in a Biden administration.

“The firearm industry believes him. There’s no reason to doubt or to equivocate with calls to unite. Taking Biden at anything less than his word is malfeasance,” said Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president and general counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, told Secrets, “The Biden gun control plan is the most aggressive and dangerous than we’ve ever seen put forward from a tier-one presidential candidate — and includes more than two dozen draconian objectives.”

The lobby has been here before and won. But recent moves in several states, including Virginia, home of the National Rifle Association where Democrats force through new gun-control initiatives this year despite protests, are worrying signs.

Industry officials, however, told Secrets that despite Biden’s bluster, the nation’s new gun-buying surge, and some polls are working against the Democrat’s plan.

A new Gallup survey, for example, found declining support for gun control despite headline-grabbing shootings in major cities. “In a year that has seen record-high gun sales, Americans' appetite for gun control is the lowest it has been since 2016.”

Gallup and the industry have reasoned that is because of fears driven by the coronavirus crisis, race and police protests and riots, and the election.

That combination has driven record-high sales and a near wipeout of ammunition in stores.

“People have been buying guns in record numbers because they’re scared of what’s happening across the country. There has been looting and rioting. And in an environment where the police are outnumbered, or hindered from doing their jobs, people will acquire firearms for their own self-defense,” said Pratt.

He added, “We have seen evidence from gun dealers across the country that people who were previously anti-gun are now buying AR-15s for self-defense. It’s no wonder that people’s views about gun control are changing. People are quickly realizing that gun control restrictions only hinder law-abiding Americans, and not bad guys, from getting guns.”

Justin Anderson, the marketing director for Hyatt Guns of Charlotte, North Carolina, one of the nation’s biggest, said that his sales team has witnessed the pro-gun craze firsthand.

“On Nov. 10, we eclipsed all of November 2019’s sales, so I think I can safely predict that this will be our busiest year in our 61-year history. The product pipeline is opening up a little bit, and we’ve been blessed to be able to get more guns than many other dealers. Ammunition is still virtually nonexistent at the wholesale level, so we are rationing to ensure we have ammunition to sell with our firearms. My hope is that the industry can make a dent in demand, though that will likely take some time,” he said.

But that demand won’t cool soon, he added. “The fear among consumers is palpable right now. It’s a scary world we’re living in today, and the likely election of the most anti-gun president in history only adds gasoline to the fire.”

In Congress, lawmakers are already readying pro-gun legislation.

Even some new members are itching for a fight, including Georgia conservative Rep.-elect Marjorie Taylor Greene.

“I think they’ll be surprised how much support I have. What people don’t know about me is that they don’t realize the grassroots support I have across the country,” Greene said.

And just to put an exclamation mark on her effort, she is planning to auction off one of the guns the ATF has moved to regulate, Q LLC’s “Honey Badger” AR-pistol. “The Honey Badger, I think that will be my next gun giveaway,” she told us.

Tags: Washington Secrets, 2020 Elections, Campaign 2020, Joe Biden, Gun Control

Original Author: Paul Bedard

Original Location: Target Biden: Gun industry readies its biggest political war ever

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