I wondered what the effects of the latest rampage shooting would be, and I found out yesterday when I went to pick up a pistol that I bought. I thought that I was doing badly when I was told on Tuesday that 3400 people were waiting for the “instant background check”. To my surprise, they had gotten through the backlog to do my background check by late Thursday. The gun dealer told me that a waiting list of 10-15 people is the norm.
Part of the reason for the backlog is holiday gift-giving, but a larger reason is the debate over increasing restrictions on guns and ammunition. Obama has been great for the gun industry, as people bought more guns during the first three years of his administration than the entire G.W. Bush administration. Ammunition prices have only begun to decline from the price increases that began when he was nominated, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices begin to go up again. A Ruger Mark III (.22 caliber target pistol) that cost $180 in 2008 is now $283.
A big part of the argument over increasing gun restrictions centers around extended magazines. A Glock 17 holds 17 rounds, and the gun comes with an extra magazine. Extra magazines can be purchased. If one preloads both magazines, they have 34 rounds, which is more than the 30-round extended magazine that they want to have regulated.