“Stand Your Ground” laws, which have come under fire as a possible factor in the Florida shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, may be having another impact, too — helping fuel a surge in gun sales.
Gun buyers swamped retailers nationwide last year, prompting a record 16.4 million instant criminal background checks of potential owners, up 14.2 percent from 2010, according to FBI figures. While some buyers may not have followed through with gun purchases or may have been denied, others bought more than one, so background checks are considered a good proxy for sales in the industry.
On Wednesday, gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Co. announced the company was forced to temporarily suspend its acceptance of any new firearms orders due to a barrage of wholesale orders — more than 1 million in 2012 alone. Last year the company shipped a total of 1.1 million firearms. This massive push “exceeds our capacity to rapidly fulfill these orders,” the Connecticut company said in a news release, adding that it expects to resume normal operations by the end of May …
Many point to fears stoked by gun-rights advocates that President Barack Obama, if elected to a second term, will push legislation to rein in gun ownership.
Wayne LaPierre, chief executive officer of the powerful National Rifle Association, told a meeting of conservatives last month that the president’s gun strategy is “crystal clear,” saying that Obama wants to “get re-elected and, with no more elections to worry about, get busy dismantling and destroying our firearms’ freedom, erase the Second Amendment.”