10 Nov 2008

Gun sales soar in wake of Obama win

3:51 pm on 10 November 2008

Sales of guns in the United States are on the rise as gun enthusiasts fear President-elect Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress will impose new restrictions on firearms.

In October, as Mr Obama appeared headed for victory, sales of guns jumped 15%, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which checks police records of gun buyers.

"Certainly the election has something to do with it, certainly in October it did. As it got closer and closer and it looked more and more like an Obama victory, the sales went skyrocketing in late October," said Tony Aeschliman, spokesman for the National Shooting Sport Foundation.

In gun shops across the country, sales were brisk.

During the election campaign, Mr Obama said he respected rights associated with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution - which gun advocates say allows them to own a firearm - but as a state lawmaker in Illinois, he voted for several measures restricting sales of certain categories of firearms.

Meanwhile, Mr Obama will seek to reverse Bush administration policies when he enters office on the 20th of January.

Mr Obama's transition chief, John Podesta, says executive orders by President George Bush on matters such as stem cell research and oil drilling are at odds with Mr Obama's views.

Mr Podesta says they can be repealed quickly because no Congressional action is needed.

On Tuesday, Mr Obama and Mr Bush will hold their first meeting since the Democrat's election victory.