Gun sales shoot up in Federal Way after Obama's election

Fear of President-elect Barack Obama's change has sent Federal Way residents running to buy guns.

Local sporting goods stores and gun shops noticed a surge in gun sales since Obama was elected last week.

"Business is quite profitable for us now, right after the election," said local gun shop employee Mike Hang. "It's just crazy. Overnight it quadrupled."

Hang said many of the gun buyers are worried that with Obama as president, the nation will undergo another ban on guns, similar to what happened during former President Bill Clinton's administration.

Sportsman's Warehouse hunting manager Tyler Hawkins reports that company-wide, the store went from an average of 500-600 guns sold daily to more than 1,000 following the election. The Federal Way store has gone from selling 5-10 guns a day to 15-25 guns daily.

Big 5 in Federal Way has also seen an increase in gun sales, and so has Joe's Sports.

During his presidency, Clinton enacted in 1994 a law that banned private citizens from possessing or transferring a semiautomatic assault weapon manufactured after Sept. 13, 1994, the day the bill was signed. Guns manufactured before that date were grandfathered in and immune to the law; the law expired in September 2004.

Obama stated throughout his campaign and on his Web site that he supports the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms. Obama said that he plans on using common sense enforcement for gun control. However, opponents say that his past support of gun legislation, including a Illinois bill that would have limited the purchase of guns to one per month, speak for themselves.

Also, Obama selected Rahm Emanuel as his White House Chief of Staff. Emanuel has been described by the Wall Street Journal as the Clinton Administration's "point man" for the gun ban.

In Washington state, the current law requires a license for a concealed gun. A concealed pistol license can be obtained at local police stations or sheriff's offices. According to, there are no limitations on assault weapons, and there is no law requiring locking devices to be sold with a gun (child safety locks). There is a five-day waiting period for all handgun sales. However, rifle sales can take place the same day, after the customer fills out an application that is run through an FBI database.

The Federal Way Police Department (FWPD) runs background checks on anyone who applies to purchase a gun. However, state law does not allow any government group to keep tabs on gun owners or how many guns they own, so the background checks are eventually shredded. FWPD does track how many permits it receives for carrying a concealed weapon. So far, that number has stayed fairly consistent for the past three months, said records supervisor Jennifer McNeil.


By the numbers:

40 percent of all U.S. homes have guns.

81 percent of Americans say that gun control will be an important issue in voting for a Congressional candidate.

91 percent of Americans say that there should be at least minor restrictions on gun ownership

57 percent of Americans say that there should be major restrictions or a ban.


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