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"Gun Sales Thriving in Uncertain Times,"

reports the Washington Post,

Several variables drive sales, but many dealers, buyers and experts attribute the increase in part to concerns about the economy and fears that if Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois wins the presidency, he will join with fellow Democrats in Congress to enact new gun controls.

The trouble is that, as the article says some twenty paragraphs down,

This year's jump is a continuation of a trend that began in 2006, about the time the housing bubble popped in parts of the nation, and remained steady last year as the political season began to take shape and the housing crisis grew.
Sure enough, FBI data shows the increase starting in 2006. If you compare each month to the same month in the preceding year, you see the spike beginning basically in late 2005 or January 2006, with the increase being higher in nearly every 2007 month than in nearly every 2008 month (all numbers are percentage differences between the same month in two neighboring years, with the last column representing the percentage differences between years):
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecTotal
2001, relative to 20000-5-1-41-2-141022964
2002, relative to 200143-265-4-1-2-16-18-10-8-5
2003, relative to 2002-223-1020-121-530
2004, relative to 20036203-435-201672
2005, relative to 2004-134332037-2483
2006, relative to 2005131010612111221161413812
2007, relative to 20061511152028292010363-211
2008, relative to 20075127121031843

So it's hard to see how this supports the "concerns about the economy" story; there's always some concern about the economy, but I have no reason to think that it somehow dramatically increased in late 2005 or early 2006, and then decreased in 2008 compared to 2007. And I don't see how it supports the "fears of future gun controls" story, especially since you'd think that most of the buying along those lines will happen when the gun controls are actually proposed and working their way through the legislative process, rather than just when a pro-gun-control President might seem likely to be elected. So the Washington Post rationales seem to be supported by the quotes they use from the particular sources they rely on, but not by the hard data.

Thanks to Andrew Siddons of the Yomiuri Shimbun for the pointers.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Gun Sales Up:
  2. "Gun Sales Thriving in Uncertain Times,"
Arkady:

So it's hard to see how this supports the "concerns about the economy" story


True enough, but I betcha legions of commenters here will say it sure supports the "Obama's gonna take your guns away" meme (or whatever it's called).
10.28.2008 8:52pm
DangerMouse:
And I don't see how it supports the "fears of future gun controls" story, especially since you'd think that most of the buying along those lines will happen when the gun controls are actually proposed and working their way through the legislative process, rather than just when a pro-gun-control President might seem likely to be elected.

Did Mayor Ray Nagin work his way through the legislative process when he seized guns from people in New Orleans, leaving them subject to the looters?
10.28.2008 8:54pm
Oren:
Even after passage of whatever gun control legislation (which I doubt, given that Dem majorities are built with pro gun folks like Tester, Webb, etc...) there will be some time before the new rules are implemented.

I chalk it up to the small number of people that are convinced that the current economic woes will end with the collapse of civilization (or at least considerable regression).
10.28.2008 8:55pm
Dan M.:
There are always gun regulations looming in Congress. It's best to buy them before they get too much support, because by then prices will already be rising on "assault weapons."
10.28.2008 9:03pm
fortyninerdweet (mail):
I think it is better proof that when 'boomers' come of age financially they suddenly realize law enforcement no longer claims to be able to "protect", and are even having an increasingly difficult time to "serve". It's simply a population spike.

The result? Self-reliance, and gathering tools and means to achieve those ends. Whether it's to stem the tide of rising crime, etc., or overcome a suffocating and confiscatory government. Either way, they decide it is better to be prepared than taken-over as a sucker.

Who's to say? They may be spot on.
10.28.2008 9:10pm
Henry Bramlet (mail):
Actually, looking at the numbers, it seems to me like the upward trend starts in late 2004....right around the time the Assault Weapons Ban lapsed.
10.28.2008 9:13pm
Sean Sorrentino (mail):
well, i am one of those who has wanted a gun for a while but didn't budget the money. now that i am staring down the barrel of a possible Obama presidency, i am buying one. i went to the store today to start the ordering process. look for a re-issue of the "Assault Weapons" ban from a Dem congress, signed by Obama. and don't think that they won't try to "fix" the problems they felt the last one had.
10.28.2008 9:18pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Did Mayor Ray Nagin work his way through the legislative process when he seized guns from people in New Orleans, leaving them subject to the looters?

Is there any evidence of actual property owners who had their guns confiscated during Katrina and thereafter suffered looting?
10.28.2008 9:25pm
cboldt (mail):


-- So the Washington Post rationales seem to be supported by the quotes they use from the particular sources they rely on, but not by the hard data. --
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Similar to "Summer of the shark attacks." Fabricate news, and people believe it.
10.28.2008 9:44pm
HoyaBlue:
"I think it is better proof that when 'boomers' come of age financially they suddenly realize law enforcement no longer claims to be able to "protect", and are even having an increasingly difficult time to "serve". It's simply a population spike. "


So....when the people who grew up in the 1960s and 1970s trusted authority less as they grew older....Interesting...
10.28.2008 9:49pm
Anderson (mail):
Interesting. I was wondering whether this was a poor time for me to be selling a gun ... maybe not!
10.28.2008 9:51pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
I buy large amounts of ammunition and I also keep track of gun prices. I noticed that gun and ammo prices both spiked like crazy after Katrina and have never come down again. AK ammo used to cost about 7-8 cents a round in bulk. Now it is about 15 cents a round on a good day. I'm glad I bought as much as I did back in 2004.

I'm not suggesting that the rise in prices was entirely due to katrina. There were many theories about the rising cost. A lot of this was supposedly materials cost (especially copper and brass) and no one ever said how much of this reduced supply was due to civilian consumption versus military consumption.

I think it is mostly just due to increased popularity of shooting ports and increased cultural acceptance of the legitimacy of self defense.

I think if pelosi pushes another AWB without significant resistance, there will be another 68/86/94 style buying spree. I also predict another 2010 electoral revolt.

I think it is much more likely that the Obama administration will play games with NICS records retention and try to undermine the Tiahart amendment that prevents them from giving trace data away to anti-gun groups. That's much less politically visible than a ban but nearly as devastating.
10.28.2008 10:02pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
One would expect gun sales to grow with population, but that's not enough to explain the increase since 2004. However some states or metropolitan areas such as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut have laws that would inhibit gun sales. If we had gun sale data broken down by state, we might have a clearer picture. We should also look for changes in price. I suspect we can explain the growth in terms of ordinary economic variables and not some fear of an impending societal breakdown.

As Freud said, "sometimes a cigar is just a cigar."
10.28.2008 10:13pm
Billll:
It looks to me like the first big jump went along with the terrorist attack in 2001. The next one went with the Dems taking over the congress in 2006.
If Obama wins, I predict that guns and ammo will be popular this Christmas.
10.28.2008 10:32pm
Bill McGonigle (www):
Don't forget the fears of a recession coupled with the possibility of hyperinflation. And people who are buying hard assets to weather the storm know last time this happened the government came door-to-door to confiscate those hard assets. Societal lesson learned?
10.28.2008 11:01pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
Billll: The jump I referred to happened in early 2006 (or possibly late 2005). The Democrats' Congressional victory happened in November 2006.
10.28.2008 11:02pm
Jane Q. Public:
I disagree completely with the rationalization that jumps in gun purchases will only rise significantly when legislation is proposed. In about May of this year, I was at a gun show in my area and saw trade taking place at a rate I had not seen in years. You would be surprised, really, at how many people were saying "You'd better get it now! The Democrats are coming!"

Now, maybe that was paranoia, or maybe it was just a line used by agressive salespeople. But the fact remains: that was the atmosphere even then, and it was successful in getting people to buy.
10.28.2008 11:16pm
DangerMouse:
Is there any evidence of actual property owners who had their guns confiscated during Katrina and thereafter suffered looting?

Nice distraction. So now people have to suffer? I said they were subject to the looters, meaning that whether they were actually looted or not, they had to take their chances without protection.

The point is, however, that anti-gun politicians don't work their way through the legislative process. They just take your guns when they feel like it. So I would advise everyone to buy a gun (even liberals - it will man them up a bit, hopefully). Keep one hidden from the politicians for your own protection.
10.28.2008 11:32pm
MQuinn:
I agree with Jane Q. Public. I live in a very pro-gun area of the country, and I often hear people discuss the need to purchase firearms out of fear of the democrats.

Oh well, these people are just bitter and clinging to their guns. (Joke)
10.28.2008 11:34pm
cboldt (mail):
-- I agree with Jane Q. Public. I live in a very pro-gun area of the country, and I often hear people discuss the need to purchase firearms out of fear of the democrats. --
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I wonder if the proportion of gun sales, period (no regard to increase) is so heavily weighted toward conservatives and Republicans, that a belief that Congress would be dominated by Democrats caused the buying public (i.e., not Democrats) to "start saving for a rainy day." That (customer base is roughly void of Democrats) would also explain the chatter at the sales venues being inclined to "save for a rainy day" where rainy day is Democrats being able to work their will through the legislative process.
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The Bush administration is likewise not all that gun friendly. See SG's brief in Heller. And of course, gun sellers being smart business-people, if their customer base is moved by "look which party is coming to power," will use that line in their sales propaganda.
10.28.2008 11:50pm
Hoosier:
or overcome a suffocating and confiscatory government.

If I were planning on arming myself for that purpose, I'd want a few tanks, and some air support. Probably an aircraft carrier as well, for stand-off operations.

The Minute Man was a myth even in 1775. I hope we will be able to put that one to rest in the near future.
10.29.2008 12:10am
Oren:


The point is, however, that anti-gun politicians don't work their way through the legislative process. They just take your guns when they feel like it.

And in the case of Nagin, the Federal Courts slapped him around a bit and sent him packing. Certainly I would prefer that dimwitted politicians keep their hands off our guns but this is a decent next-best outcome.

Hoosier, better to let the army "sweep over" your emplacement and then slowly undermine them with sporadic acts of light violence. Not that I seriously think the US military will be turned against us or that violent revolution is plausible in the next decade.
10.29.2008 12:28am
jkeogh (mail) (www):
One hint. Controlled Demolition.
10.29.2008 12:34am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Hoosier: Not advocating it, but one doesn't need to take on the might of the US military to get a message across to politicians, as Oren noted. A few dozen congressmen or other government officials disappearing would certainly catch their attention.
10.29.2008 12:41am
cboldt (mail):
-- And in the case of Nagin, the Federal Courts slapped him around a bit and sent him packing. --
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Yeah. And right fast too.
.
New Orleans Mayor Finally Admits Illegal Gun Confiscation
Friday, October 10, 2008
After a three-year legal battle over the unconstitutional confiscation of lawfully owned firearms during Hurricane Katrina, this week, the City of New Orleans agreed to settle a lawsuit initiated by NRA. A permanent injunction has been issued against the city, Mayor Ray Nagin, and current Police Chief Warren Riley.

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The illegally seized property has not yet been returned to its owners.
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This lawsuit process would have to be conducted on a city-by-city basis in order to have the force of law apply as a matter of widespread geography. As it is, NOLA has protection, and that's it.
10.29.2008 12:56am
Sebastian (mail) (www):
I've been working gun shows leading up to the election on behalf of NRA endorsed candidates. People absolutely are buying because of the political situation. Several dealers have told me they can't keep AR-15s and AK-47 variants in stock.

That pretty much says people don't expect Obama to send the feds around door-to-door, but they are well aware that he can, and in the past the Democrats have, banned the manufacture of "assault weapons." Obama doesn't have to send anyone door-to-door to destroy the gun culture in this country. New Jersey accomplished destroying its gun, hunting and sport shooting culture without having to outright ban then. Ban a few scary looking things here and there, and make the regulations for possessing, transporting and transferring anything else so onerous and incomprehensible, pretty soon no one bothers. That's what people are afraid of, and it's far from an irrational fear.
10.29.2008 12:57am
cboldt (mail):
-- you'd think that most of the buying along those lines will happen when the gun controls are actually proposed and working their way through the legislative process, rather than just when a pro-gun-control President might seem likely to be elected. --
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I'm with others who doubt that legislation has to be up for debate (it is ALWAYS proposed - look at the calendar for every Congress, and see "gun-hostile" legislative proposals) in order to provoke a pre-emptive buying spree.
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I think that most buyers would be more sensitive to the Congressional makeup than to the presidential one. GWB promised to sign the AWB renewal if it came to him, so his presence or absence wouldn't be apt to trigger a buying spree.
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But I'm not able to make a clean connection to early 2006 and a sentiment among gun-buyers that Democrats had a good chance at running Congress, or in the alternative, the weak-sister GOP would capitulate in the name of bipartisanship. My recollection is that the GOP has fairly well bamboozled it's faithful into thinking the 2006 mid-term would be a wash, or would turn Congress slightly more GOP.
10.29.2008 1:05am
Oren:
cboldt:

If I'm not mistaken, the NOLA gun case protects everyone because it establishes the law and therefore prospectively eliminates qualified immunity. Hence, officials in other states that try such a scheme will be risking considerably more than Mr Nagin did trying it the first time.
10.29.2008 1:17am
gattsuru (mail) (www):
And I don't see how it supports the "fears of future gun controls" story, especially since you'd think that most of the buying along those lines will happen when the gun controls are actually proposed and working their way through the legislative process, rather than just when a pro-gun-control President might seem likely to be elected.


Most people are planning to bet against price increases. If Obama does win, we're wagering on a major gun control bill (probably an AWBv2, but overturning shall-issue CCW laws or aiming for specific types of handguns might come up instead, depending on what accidents or murders happen) being passed very quickly. The Democrats were calling on a 100 days plan last election period, and I have little reason to suspect they'll act differently when they have the power.

That'd still provide a lot of time before the law would go into effect, but for most of that time, prices would skyrocket as people try to get grandfathered weapons (if grandfathering occurs) or weapons that can be hidden before the law comes slamming down.
10.29.2008 1:59am
cboldt (mail):
-- If I'm not mistaken, the NOLA gun case protects everyone because it establishes the law and therefore prospectively eliminates qualified immunity. Hence, officials in other states that try such a scheme will be risking considerably more than Mr Nagin did trying it the first time. --
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The case was settled on agreement by NOLA. Other cities may look to the settlement and gauge whether they want to risk being dragged through the same process, but the city lost no money, and since the only thing at risk is the return of property, "qualified immunity" isn't much value. I don't know if any officer has been sued as an individual, but officers are acting under orders and as such may have qualified immunity.
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I take your point about precendential value, but have to reserve my personal ultimate conclusion pending analysis of the value of absence of qualified immunity (i.e., what "more" is at risk by pulling the same stunt? A harder hand-slap?), if such absence has in fact been created.
10.29.2008 2:42am
cboldt (mail):
Not meaning to be pedantic about it, but what I had in mind about "absence of protection" and "the people of NOLA have protection" was riffing off of the statement in the linked article, "A permanent injunction has been issued against the city, Mayor Ray Nagin, and current Police Chief Warren Riley." That's the extent of Court order. Period. No further. NOLA, Nagin, Riley. The Court Order does not reach farther than that.
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The Constitution is supposed to be the force that prevents unconstitutional seizure, but we see that the constitution is spat on by certain government agents.
10.29.2008 2:49am
Gene Hoffman (mail) (www):
The assault weapons ban in California was effectively gutted right about the end of 2005. I know that we Californians bought an additional 50,000 AR and AK variants in the period between Q4 2005 and the end of Q2 2006. What is most interesting about that stat is that California is Point of Contact state so it's data isn't even in the data set.

Also, don't underestimate the positive effect Heller has had on gun sales generally - positive press coverage, de-stigmatization, etc.

-Gene
10.29.2008 3:30am
MadHatChemist:
Silly people, do you really think that Obama will let you keep those guns? It'll be far worse then Brady II and there is 5 votes at the present to stop it.
10.29.2008 3:49am
Turk Turon (mail):
Henry Bramlet:

"Actually, looking at the numbers, it seems to me like the upward trend starts in late 2004....right around the time the Assault Weapons Ban lapsed."



Ditto, Henry. The AWB expired in September 2004.
10.29.2008 7:16am
genob:
On a more local level, I think Heller has generated a bit of a backlash among anti-gun politicians, who now seem determined to show they can't be pushed around. Here in Seattle, the mayor is thumbing his nose at the State Constitution and banning guns from all city owned property. Heller seems to have jumpstarted their desire to challenge the edges of what they can get away with on gun control...and based on nothing more than anecdotes, people seem to be buying while they can, anticipating more hurdles in the future.

But it's less about Obama than local leaders.
10.29.2008 10:32am
Houston Lawyer:
In addition, since Katrina, concealed carry classes in Houston have been booked full weeks in advance. I have also noted a general doubling of the price of ammo even at my preferred vendor WalMart.

Watch November and December sales this year if Obama is elected. Most people don't realize that the companies that manufacture firearms for civilian use are not huge companies that can just ramp up demand. I predict empty shelves at the gun stores.

I have a couple of purchases I will need to make this year that would not be permitted under a new assault weapons ban.
10.29.2008 10:41am
DonP (mail):
"I think Heller has generated a bit of a backlash among anti-gun politicians"

As some political types might say: "You Betcha!"

Here in Chicago our boy Daley repeatedly announces that Heller has no impact on Chicago gun regulations since he "allows" citizens to own shotguns and rifles ... holding less than 3 rounds ... as long as they re-register them every year with the police.

He also frequently tells the media that he will fight any efforts to change Chicago's gun laws "all the way to the Supreme Court for the safety of the children of Chicago". (He generally leaves off "The murder capital of America" when he makes those speeches.)
10.29.2008 11:18am
Don Miller (mail) (www):
Ever since I was in the Army, I have always wanted to own my own AR-15. They are a fun gun to shoot is the main reason.

Because they are a little bit expensive, It hasn't been a priority with me before. I had friends that would let me shoot theirs whenever I had the urge and the ammo, so I put it on the backburner. However, looking forward to the next 4 years (or more) of Democrat control of House, Senate and Presidency, I pulled the money from savings last Monday and ordered one.

Even if the Democrats don't try to ban them completely, I expect that they will bring back some version of the "Scary Looking Weapons" ban again and make this weapon half the gun it was.
10.29.2008 11:26am
Andy Freeman (mail):
> The Minute Man was a myth even in 1775. I hope we will be able to put that one to rest in the near future.

I understand that Bellesiles is looking for work.

Or, are you looking forward to "modern day minutemen" trying to revolt and getting slaughtered for their troubles?

Maybe they'll burn a govt building first. That worked last time.
10.29.2008 2:09pm
Michael B (mail):
"... I betcha legions of commenters here will say it sure supports the "Obama's gonna take your guns away" meme (or whatever it's called)." Arkady

I don't see how this particular post would support that proposition.

Though there is this, Obama's Constitutional Subversion, excerpt:

A new report (PDF) written by Second Amendment lawyer Dave Hardy of Of Arms and the Law finds that while constitutional law professor Barack Obama was serving on the Joyce Foundation's Board of Directors from 1994-2002, Joyce set out to corrupt the availability of academic scholarship concerning the Second Amendment. The goal was to control published research so that the U.S Supreme Court would be influenced as much as possible by the overwhelming preponderance of recent scholarship favoring the collective rights interpretation favored by gun control advocates and firearm prohibitionists.

Hardy summarizes:
The Joyce Foundation years ago realized that a Supreme Court case on the Second Amendment was likely, and decided to use its millions to buy the case indirectly. It created a supposed academic research center as its wholly-owned subsidiary. It corrupted law reviews, dictating their content, and even trying to dictate who could speak at universities accepting Joyce's money. It laundered its money through its Center and thru a University's Foundation.

An attorney named Barak Obama was right in the middle of the plan.
The foundation poured millions of dollars into buying influence in cash-starved law reviews, foundations, and universities, providing that they would only publish the collective rights interpretations approved by Joyce, and that they would refuse to publish scholarship that provided an individualist rights interpretation.

But I betcha legions of commenters here will scoff and sneer at the idea Obama is anything other than a mainstream politico ...

Likewise, there is this, Obama's Constitution. But I betcha I know how legions of commenters here will handle that as well.
10.29.2008 2:53pm
LarryA (mail) (www):
I think it is mostly just due to increased popularity of shooting ports and increased cultural acceptance of the legitimacy of self defense.
I agree that this is a big reason. We now have forty out of fifty states with right-to-carry, and not one of them is having problems. Castle doctrine laws, legislation against confiscation during disaster, and laws against suing manufacturers for criminal misuse are spreading on the state level.

Anecdotally, twelve years ago, when Texas passed concealed carry, a "what's a nice guy like you doing in the National Rifle Association?" response was typical. These past couple of years I've seen many more "concealed carry is cool" responses. Five years ago Club Ed, the local community education program, invited me to teach CHL classes through them. Ten years ago? No way.
I wonder if the proportion of gun sales, period (no regard to increase) is so heavily weighted toward conservatives and Republicans, that a belief that Congress would be dominated by Democrats caused the buying public (i.e., not Democrats) to "start saving for a rainy day."
I recall back during the campaign a factoid that in Pennsylvania (I think) about one out of three Democrat voters was a gun owner. Why do you think Obama "respects" the Second Amendment?

And, yeah, the election. I'll be truly amazed if the Democrats don't push for gun control as far as they can see.
10.29.2008 3:00pm
Dilan Esper (mail) (www):
Nice distraction. So now people have to suffer? I said they were subject to the looters, meaning that whether they were actually looted or not, they had to take their chances without protection.

Look, obviously if you want to be an absolutist about the Second Amendment, the government taking one's guns away for one second is an outrage. I understand that.

But saying they were "subject to the looters" is silly. Most people evacuated. EVERYONE who evacuated, guns or no guns, was "subject to the looters". The real issue is whether anyone was looted because the government took away their guns. If not, then what you have is a theoretical rights violation-- which I am not necessarily saying is a good thing-- but one that did no actual tangible harm.

Throwing around terms like "subject to the looters" is trying to make it sound like people got their property stolen because of the gun confiscation, instead of simply getting their guns confiscated. If you want to simply argue that the gun confiscation was wrong on its own merits, leave the looters out of it unless you have evidence of actual gun confiscation-related looting.
10.29.2008 3:18pm
cboldt (mail):
-- The real issue is whether anyone was looted because the government took away their guns. ... then what you have is a theoretical rights violation-- which I am not necessarily saying is a good thing-- but one that did no actual tangible harm. --
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The real issue is if anybody would wind up at a loss because the government took away your right to post/talk. All we'd have would be a theoretical rights violation, which I am not necessarily saying is a good thing, but depriving you of a right to express yourself would not do actual tangible harm.
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Depriving somebody of a means of self defense is serious and unconscionable, never mind unconstitutional. The deprivation exists even if the person never has cause to assert self defense.
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You are making an argument that is silly and dangerous at the same time, conditioning the finding of a deprivation on the event of the gunless person being looted.
10.29.2008 3:39pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
You are making an argument that is silly and dangerous at the same time, conditioning the finding of a deprivation on the event of the gunless person being looted.

This incident has been blown all out of proportion. First of all, not one gun was confiscated from a law abiding citizen. That is a fact. The City of New Orleans was under a mandatory evacuation order. If you refused to leave, you were breaking the law. Rather than forcibly remove or arrest those idiots who refused to leave, the police in about 200 instances (over a couple of days), instead confiscated firearms from the people violating the evacuation order. After they did this for a couple days and probably because of bad press, they gave up trying to enforce the evacuation and confiscating guns from those who refused to leave. So you might not like the fact that guns were confiscated, but the people who had their guns confiscated were breaking the law (and putting their own lives and those of the police and other emergency personnel at risk) by refusing to leave. There was no safe drinking water, no sewer service, no electricity, no food--no services of any kind and most of the city was under water.

The vast majority of guns (somewhere between 1200 and 2000) that ended up in police custody were not confiscated from anybody but were secured from unoccupied businesses and private residences so that they would not be stolen by looters.
10.29.2008 4:52pm
zippypinhead:
There's no single reason for the sales increase. Rather, it's almost certain that a combination of several either real or perceived factors is contributing to the increase in firearms sales, including but not limited to:

1. de-stigmatization of firearms ownership, something that began well before Heller and has accelerated since. More people are realizing that shooting sports are fun; in many parts of the country you're not looked down upon as a nutcase for owning firearms or having a CCW permit nearly as much as you were 15 or so years ago, etc.

2. a series of highly-publicized natural and man-made disasters that suggest enhanced personal protection might be a good thing. These include everything from 9-11, to the D.C. snipers, to Hurricane Katrina, to Virginia Tech, home invasions, etc., that make people feel less secure in general.

3. enthusiasts who have been enduring price spikes and spot shortages deciding to "stock up" before prices rise further or ammo becomes harder to find. Between the price of metals and increased demand from the military, the cost of firearms and especially ammunition has gone up a lot. And then there's occasional scares like the proposed (but abandoned, I think) OSHA rule last year to require ammunition to be handled like hazmat material, that would have put a lot of ammo retailers out of business.

4. fears about the political environment, whether it's major candidates deriding Middle America for bitterly clinging to naughty thingies, to people reading credible-sounding warnings like those VC's own Dave Kopel have been making.

And there are probably a host of other reasons. Hmmm... now that I think of it, maybe I'd better order another correct-grade M1 Garand from the Civilian Marksmanship Program before next Tuesday when they'll be swamped by orders from folks who are terrified that the next administration may not look too favorably on the continued existence of a Federally-chartered corporation that sells slightly-used USGI "assault weapons" to civilians and "trains children" how to use naughty things that go bang...
10.29.2008 5:00pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):

Is there any evidence of actual property owners who had their guns confiscated during Katrina and thereafter suffered looting?


So a warrantless, illegal search without any subsequent prosecution is okay, too? I mean, there's no real harm, right?


The real issue is whether anyone was looted because the government took away their guns.


They were looted when the government took their guns.
10.29.2008 5:22pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):

Rather than forcibly remove or arrest those idiots who refused to leave, the police in about 200 instances (over a couple of days), instead confiscated firearms from the people violating the evacuation order.


Huh?
You have to leave because its unsafe, and if you don't, we're going to make you more unsafe?
Wow.

So what crime were these non-law-abiding citizens convicted of, anyway?
10.29.2008 5:34pm
cboldt (mail):
-- First of all, not one gun was confiscated from a law abiding citizen. ... the police in about 200 instances (over a couple of days), instead confiscated firearms from the people violating the evacuation order. --
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The consent order refers to firearms seized from August 29, 2005 to December 31, 2005. Your "Not one gun was confiscated from a law abiding citizen" is a risible claim.
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--The vast majority of guns (somewhere between 1200 and 2000) that ended up in police custody were not confiscated from anybody but were secured from unoccupied businesses and private residences so that they would not be stolen by looters. --
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That's some powerful hocus pocus, not confiscated from anybody, just taken from their residence, and still not returned.
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Absent a Court order, these Democrat thugs who operate the government of NOLA would still be asserting 1) we don't have your guns, and 2) even if we do, you can't make us return them. And you defend the actions of these government thugs as though it's hunky dory justified.
10.29.2008 6:37pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
So what crime were these non-law-abiding citizens convicted of, anyway?

They weren't convicted, or arrested, for that matter. They could have been arrested for violating the evacuation order.

Think of it this way. You don't have a concealed carry permit, yet you are stopped and searched by the police for some other legitimate reason. He finds your gun and says he won't arrest you but he will confiscate the gun and it will be kept at the police station until you can retrieve it legally. Do you have a cause of action because the cop gave you a break and didn't arrest you?
10.29.2008 6:41pm
cboldt (mail):
-- Think of it this way. You don't have a concealed carry permit, yet you are stopped and searched by the police for some other legitimate reason. He finds your gun and says he won't arrest you but he will confiscate the gun and it will be kept at the police station until you can retrieve it legally. Do you have a cause of action because the cop gave you a break and didn't arrest you? --
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Think of it this way. You legally own a firearm, and you are in your home. The police come to your door and say you have to 1) leave and 2) give us all your guns. You say I'm not leaving, so the police decide to let you stay, but they take your guns via credible threat of use of deadly force (they are armed).
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Then they refuse to return your firearm after things have cooled down.
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Yeah. I'd say there's a cause of action. Oh wait, there was a legal action. Guess who "won."
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Your other scenario has the guns being disappeared by the police (looted, more like), when the person isn't even present. Those don't get returned either. At least not until the Court calls out the Democratic thugs. IOW, "kept at the police station until you can retrieve it legally" is either outright false, or the terms of "legally" are set at some preposterous and unconstitutional level.
10.29.2008 6:52pm
cboldt (mail):
-- This incident has been blown all out of proportion. --
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And then you go on to express why confiscation is justified.
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The incident is not blown out of proportion. See legislation that makes the confiscation, the very same thing you endorse, ILLEGAL. The confiscation is not justified, and it wasn't justified when it took place. It was rationalized, after the fact, as "you don't have a statute that expressly forbids this." Again, you Democratic thugs spit on the 2nd amendment. You too, I'm calling you out personally on that one. You are a thug enabler.
10.29.2008 6:58pm
Harvey Mosley (mail):

Think of it this way. You don't have a concealed carry permit, yet you are stopped and searched by the police for some other legitimate reason. He finds your gun and says he won't arrest you but he will confiscate the gun and it will be kept at the police station until you can retrieve it legally. Do you have a cause of action because the cop gave you a break and didn't arrest you?


Ooh, sounds like a fun. Can I play?

You have a laptop and are using it to blog about the horrible way the city of New Orleans is handling the emergency. You criticize both the mayor and the chief of police. The police come along and tell you you have to leave, there's a mandatory evacuation order. You decide to stay. The police say, ok, no problem, but you can't attack the credibility of the city during this crisis. They take your laptop instead of arresting you. They tell you to pick it up at the police station after they decide its safe for you to blog again.

Do you have a cause of action?
10.29.2008 8:47pm
J. F. Thomas (mail):
You have a laptop and are using it to blog about the horrible way the city of New Orleans is handling the emergency.

How exactly are you managing to blog? There is no power. If you have a generator, you ran out of gas long ago and there is no gas available (if you have one that is hooked up to the natural gas lines, that isn't working either because there have been numerous breaks in the gas lines and they are all shut down). There is no connection to the internet--the cell phone towers are down, as is the cable and the telephone landlines.
10.30.2008 12:14pm
cboldt (mail):
-- How exactly are you managing to blog? --
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There were a number of people blogging Katrina, from NOLA, during and after the hurricane, and certainly while evacuation orders were in place. Some were private citizens, some claimed to be entitled to extra special protection in speaking out, on account of being members of "the press."
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I recall reading the stories of a fellow who was responsible for keeping an internet switch open and operating for his employer. That building had a generator, and being "on a switch" was "online." He received at least one shipment of diesel fuel. Di you know they have trucks that actually deliver fuel? I was amazed to learn that. I thought it all came out of pumps at the gas station.
10.30.2008 2:01pm