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Hunters and Shooters Fear Incoming Administration Will Make Firearms Purchases More Difficult


By a large majority, hunters and shooters feel that the coming changes in Washington D.C. will make it more difficult for them to purchase firearms, according to a recent poll.

When asked to define their expectations regarding the new administration and Congress, a resounding 80% of respondents said they expect it will become more difficult for them to purchase firearms. Fewer than 1% said they expect purchasing firearms will become less difficult, while 16% said they expect their firearms purchasing ability will remain the same.

Slightly fewer than 4% of respondents said that they don’t know or have no opinion.

“These results show that most hunters and target shooters expect changes resulting from the 2008 elections will make it more difficult for them to buy guns,” commented survey author Rob Southwick of Southwick Associates. “Increases in firearm sales since the November election are also a strong indicator of such sentiment.”

The online survey was conducted in December 2008.

Source: Launched in 2006, and help the firearms and outdoor equipment industries, government officials, and conservation organizations track consumer activities and expenditure trends. The list above represents only a small sample of the vast amount of information that is available from the complete survey results. The results are scientifically analyzed to reflect all U.S. hunters and target shooters. Find out how a subscription to the complete survey data can help your business, government agency, or organization. For more information, contact Rob Southwick at


Gun Sales Continue to Increase

24 Percent Jump in December Amid Gun-Owner Concerns

NEWTOWN, Conn. — 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. Data derived from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) show a 24 percent increase in firearm purchaser background checks for the month of December 2008 (1,523,426 checks) over December 2007 (1,230,525 checks). This increase follows a 42 percent rise in NICS checks for the preceding month, the highest number of checks in NICS history. FBI background checks are required under federal law for all individuals purchasing firearms from federally licensed retailers. These checks serve as a strong indicator of actual sales.

A recent poll of hunters and target shooters by Southwick Associates Inc., in which 80 percent 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 percent from 2007.

For more information on gun sale statistics, legislative issues and general firearm related questions, please visit the NSSF Web site at — the media’s resource for all things about the firearms and ammunition industry.

Kevin Paulson

Kevin Paulson is the Founder and CEO of His passion for Hunting began at the age of 5 hunting alongside of his father. Kevin has followed his dreams through outfitting, conservation work, videography and hunting trips around the world.

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