Last week President-elect Obama's Web site had posted his administration's agenda for curtailing the Second Amendment rights of law abiding Americans, thereby validating the concerns of gun owners, sportsmen and firearms enthusiasts all across the country. Curiously, the Obama-Biden gun control agenda was taken down from the Web site after just two days, according to officials from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.
President-elect Obama's Web site stated he would make permanent the expired "assault weapons" ban of 1994, a ban on firearms that was based on cosmetic appearance, such as the type of stock on the gun, and not functionality. The expired ban did nothing to reduce crime while it was in place.
President-elect Obama's Web site intentionally misled the American people by referring to these firearms as "weapons that belong on foreign battlefields." These firearms are not machine guns. In reality, these commonplace firearms that President-elect Obama wants to permanently ban are used in shooting competitions and are found in homes and hunting lodges all across the country. They fire only once with each trigger pull, no spray firing, and they shoot the same ammunition as other firearms of the same caliber.
As firearm sales continue to increase this year, at a rate of 10 percent over the same period last year and 15 percent in October alone, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) -- the trade association for the firearms industry -- is pointing to gun-owner concerns about an Obama Administration as reason for the boom.
President-elect Obama has also promised to repeal the Tiahrt Amendment, a law which restricts public access to sensitive, law enforcement-only firearms tracing data. Public release of gun trace data outside law enforcement has and will continue to jeopardize ongoing criminal investigations, putting the lives of law enforcement, witnesses and others at risk. This is why Congress, ATF, and law enforcement, including the nation's largest police organization, the Fraternal Order of Police, agree on the importance of securing this sensitive data.
Access to gun trace data should only be available to law enforcement taking part in a bona-fide investigation, and law enforcement already has the access it needs for this purpose. No law enforcement agency has ever been denied access to trace data as part of a criminal investigation.
The Obama-Biden Web site also called for "childproofing" all firearms, despite firearm-related accidents being at their lowest levels in history, including a 60 percent decrease over the last 20 years, and a federal law that requires firearms dealers to provide a lock with each handgun sold and to have locks available for consumers to purchase.
Firearms industry members have a long history of supporting the safe and responsible use and storage of firearms through programs such as Project ChildSafe, a campaign developed by the NSSF that has distributed over 35 million free gun lock safe storage kits throughout the United States. For years, manufacturers have voluntarily provided a free locking device with each new firearm. Thankfully, the National Safety Council reports that childhood firearms accidents now comprise less than 1 percent of all fatal childhood injuries.
Finally, the appointment of Rahm Emanuel, the strident chief architect of the Clinton-Gore gun control agenda, as President-elect Obama's chief of staff sends an unambiguous message to gun-owners and members of the firearms industry.
"The increase in firearms sales was predictable," said NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane. "It's clear from President-elect Obama's voting record, and the promises that he continues to make, that gun control will be coming back to the White House. Eloquent rhetoric notwithstanding, sportsmen, gun owners and prospective gun owners recognize this and are reacting accordingly."
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.