Obama election triggers run on gun sales in Wisconsin
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Friday that figures on state background checks show handgun purchases in Wisconsin skyrocketed 82% in the days before and after the election of Barack Obama as president compared with the same 13 days in November last year.
Most of the early November background checks took place after Election Day, a sign that gun owners anticipate new restrictions with Democrats taking control of the federal government.
In the first 13 days of the month, 2,642 background checks were requested. During the same 13 days last November, the number was 1,453, state Justice Department spokesman Bill Cosh said.
Tom Smith of Eagle, Wisconsin said Friday that he purchased two handguns in the days before the election when it became clear Obama would win.
"I bought them because I was afraid they were going to be outlawed," Smith said.
Gun owners also are worried that Obama might push for tax increases on ammunition and gun accessories, what they described as a "back-door way" to bring about gun control.
"I went out and stocked up on ammo. I bought 20 cases of rifle ammunition," Kyle Troeger of Muskego, Wisconsin said.
Sean Eaton, owner of Fletcher Arms in Waukesha, Wisconsin, said he is experiencing a 30 percent to 40 percent increase in handgun sales. The rush started in the days before the election and it has not slowed down, he said.
Whether Obama will pass restrictions on issues such as gun control is unclear since discussions on the economy and national security dominated the campaign.
Obama's Web site says: "The Second Amendment creates an individual right, and he respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms. He will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport and use guns."