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article imagePoll: U.S. gun owners fear Obama will try to ban gun sales

By Oliver VanDervoort     Oct 21, 2009 in Politics
A new Gallup poll shows that a majority of Americans now believe that President Obama intends to ban the sale of all guns some time during his presidency.
A full 55 percent of those who personally own a gun now say they believe such an occurrence will happen, according to a new Gallup poll. The poll also indicates 53 percent of those who have a gun in the house and 41 percent of all Americans believe a gun ban will occur.
Considering sales of ammunition and guns have increased throughout the United States over the last few months, it appears that not only do a large group of people believe it, but they are acting proactively against the supposed coming ban.
A recent National Public Radio news story, for example, reported: "Gun dealers and bullet-makers are straining to keep up with record demand for ammunition. Some dealers think it's because of fear that President Obama might limit gun use. Although the president has made no specific proposal, bullets for sportsmen have been scarce for months."
Similar reports have also been coming out of the Associated Press: "American bullet-makers are working around the clock, seven days a week, and still cannot keep up with the nation's demand for ammunition. Shooting ranges, gun dealers, and bullet manufacturers say they have never seen such shortages. Bullets, especially for handguns, have been scarce for months because gun enthusiasts are stocking up, in part because they fear that President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Congress will pass antigun legislation -- even though nothing specific has been proposed and the president [in May] signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks."
As is usually the case with these politically charged issues, the percentages of those answering run strongly along party lines. Among those who believe that Obama will ban guns, 62 percent are Republicans, or lean Republican. Only 20 percent are Democrats, or lean Democratic.
The highest percentages of those who answered yes reside in the Midwest (47 percent) and the South (46 percent) compared to just 31 percent who live on the East Coast, and 36 percent who live in the West.
It is not possible to establish that this belief has led directly to increased gun- or ammunition-purchasing behavior. But the possibility of such a connection appears quite real.
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