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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Concerns for gun owners

All over the country, gun stores are seeing sales jump in response to Barack Obama's election. Gun enthusiasts...never comfortable with Obama's stated laisse faire policy on guns....are saying 'I told you so' now that the election is over and it's clear that Dems will control both houses of Congress and the presidency. The biggest concern to many: the assault weapons ban put in during the Clinton administration and allowed to expire after G. W. Bush became president.

So what's the truth about Obama's policy towards gun ownership?

Factcheck.org published a good rundown during the campaign, citing NRA propaganda that made all sorts of outlandish claims about what could happen to gun laws. Most of the claims are debunked, but the report does link to an early Obama policy agenda sheet on Urban Policy that does promise to make the assault weapon ban permanent, close the 'gun show loophole' and make all weapons childproof.

This policy sheet has been seized on by anti-gun law activists and linked to from several reports being emailed to gun owners around the country. Some bloggers are concerned that a copy of the Urban Policy report was posted on the Change.gov site, then removed or "quickly disappeared down the memory hole after staff realized their plans had been revealed just a bit too soon." according to one blogger. Lots of reaction indicates a huge disappointment in Obama's claims during the campaign that he would respect Second Amendment rights.

And who cares about assault weapons, anyway? Any gun owner who has a semi-automatic weapon, including former military weapons like AKs and ARs, popular with gun collectors and recreational shooters. I can say from experience that this includes lots of normal law-abiding citizens who love their guns and enjoy owning guns that the U.S. military uses, and find lots of enjoyment in them.

Here's a summary of the ban and list of affected weapons, from the Salt Lake Tribune. A bill to renew of the ban was introduced in Congress this past spring, so it's quite clear a new Congress will probably face a renwal bill in the coming session. Would President Obama sign this legislation? Most likely.....

PS, I hate guns. But I love some gun owners and feel their concern.

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