Obama Still Scaring Up Gun Sales

FBI reports surge in background checks
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 20, 2009 6:52 PM CDT
Case Vermillion answers a customer's question at a gun shop in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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(Newser) – The surge in gun and ammunition sales that started with Barack Obama's presidency shows no sign of abating, NPR reports. In California, gun sales are up 32% from a year ago, and the FBI has reported a consistent rise in applications for background checks. Gun retailers and consumers continue to credit the surging sales to widely-held fears that the Obama administration will move to restrict gun ownership.

"I think many gun dealers are using it as a marketing tool, playing on unreasonable fears," Sen. Dick Durbin said. But public opinion has also become more conservative on guns: “A year ago 58 percent said it was more important to control gun ownership than to protect the right to own guns," says Carroll Doherty, associate director at the Pew Center. "And now opinion is almost evenly divided.”