For the past four years, President Barack Obama has been relatively quiet on gun control. But, to citizens who cherish their Second Amendment Right to bear arms the silence is only the quiet before the storm. Fearing tighter gun regulations and, in particular, the U.N. Small Arms Treaty, which could lead to stiff regulatory rules for gun owners, citizens have been stocking up on fire arms. The U.N. Treaty has been sold as a way to merely regulate conventional gun sales for international security. Signing the treaty is a way of circumventing congressional approval and, many see it as a way to open the door to more severe rules out of the hands of the U.S and into the hands of the U.N. The process started in 2009 and the U.N. will formally vote on the Small Arms Treaty in March.
In addition to the U.N Treaty, though, evidence of the President’s aversion to guns can be seen more recently. During one of the presidential debates in October, Obama said if reelected he would introduce an assault weapons ban bill. These moves spell warning signs for citizens.
Since Election Day, national reports have confirmed an increase in gun sales. But, what about locally? And are these numbers proof of a legitimate danger to the Second Amendment?
“We’ve actually been dealing with this the whole year,”
Gilmer County Probate Judge Anita Mullins said when asked if the she had seen an increase in firearm licenses since the election. In February alone she said the county issued 72 new gun permits. Mullins also said since the election 59 new permits have been issued and that she expects more, adding that in May, the county had issued anywhere between 28 and 72 permits a month. Overall, Mullins said she expects approximately 170 more licenses this year than last year for the county for a total of 542.
Other Probate Offices in the Appalachian District also reported an increase in firearm licenses this year. Fannin County Probate Judge Linda Davis said her office has been busy all year with firearm licenses, while the Pickens County Probate Office said it has issued 534 firearm permits this year, and expected to average the same amount as last year at 600.
In a recent conversation with FYN, local National Rifle Association member and Certified Pistol Instructor Bill Cagle said the day after Thanksgiving saw record guns sales of over 159,000, including background checks, which caused the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s computer systems to temporarily crash.
Here in Ellijay, The Gun Pro Shop reported an astonishing 30,000 separate rounds of ammo sold the day of and after the 2012 election. Store employees commented that this was more than they had sold in three months.
Cagle is starting his own basic pistol class this December with fellow NRA member and Certified Pistol Instructor Carlton Wilson. He said he is starting the course because he’s had several enquiries this year about teaching a gun safety course. Cagle said the main group buying guns is single middle aged women and elderly citizens, who are the focus of the course.
“The main reason we are doing this is so people will feel safe,”
“We want to both educate people about guns and make them feel safe. It’s a win-win situation.”
Cagle and Wilson will begin their gun safety course on Saturday, December 22nd at the Arbor Hill Subdivision Clubhouse located on Lumber Company Rd in Jasper, GA.