On the gun counter at Ace Sporting Goods in Washington County, Pa., reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, customers are greeted with a picture of President Barack Obama next to the caption, “Salesman of the Year.” The publisher of The Outdoor Wire, an online publication for the outdoors industry, credited Obama with sparing the gun industry the same kind of slump that has decimated the automakers. The White House denies planning to pursue gun controls, but many gun owners don’t trust the president.
The surge in sales actually began during the election, when then-candidate Obama emerged as the front-runner. It intensified after he won. Many of those buyers are first-time gun owners. More than 4.2 million firearms background checks were performed from November 2008 through January, an increase of more than 31 percent above the 3.2 million checks from the same period a year earlier.