Last week’s election will have a profound impact on the future of gun ownership, shooting sports, recreational hunting and fishing.
Before I move into what I think the ramifications may be, there is something I need to tell you.
I left a Rapid City TV station in 2004 where I’d worked as its Chief Meteorologist for 12 years to accept a position as a copywriter with one of the world’s largest and most successful outdoor retailers.
I no longer hold that position.
I was recently promoted within the company to head a new business intelligence unit.
I not only function as the corporate meteorologist, but also monitor current events from the local level all the way up to a global scale in search of threats and opportunities.
My job is to know what’s happening in the world and how it will impact sporting goods retailers, consumers of sporting products and the future of various product lines.
I still get to test and play with wonderful hunting and fishing related toys, but the company recognized certain skill sets I have that came from nearly 30 years of experience in meteorology, earth science, communications and journalism and decided to put them to use.
That said, here is what I see coming.
Supreme Court decisions involving Second Amendment rights have been hanging by a one-vote thread for several years.
Given the ages of current justices on the High Court, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that Mr. Obama could appoint as many as four new justices during his second term.
If his past appointments are any indication of future ones, new justices will likely rule in favor of more 2nd Amendment restrictions.
With a slight shift to the left in the makeup of the Senate and the Majority Leader hinting at seeking ways to limit the ability of the opposition to filibuster, watch for renewed attempts to pass an “Assault Weapons Ban.”
I read pieces in three separate publications since the election that claim the legislation is already written and proponents are simply looking for an opportunity to introduce it.
Though passage in the House of Representatives is unlikely, watch for the ban to be tucked inside a bill the House Majority really wants.
While I haven’t read the bill, supporters are on record as stating Americans should only be permitted to own guns with “legitimate sporting use” and “reasonable means of self defense.”
My understanding is the initial wave of gun control will focus on removal of select firearms from the market with phased in eliminations of various types in coming years.
Proponents believe there is no reason for civilians to own anything other than single-shot or bolt-action rifles, double-barrel or limited-capacity pump-action shotguns, and personal-defense handguns should be limited to revolvers.
The phased-in plan is inspired and insidious. It targets one group of gun owners at a time, say semi-automatic firearm owners, with assurances it won’t go any farther.
Then they’ll go after guns able to hold more than five or six rounds, claiming that’s all that one needs for hunting, competition or sufficient self defense.
When hyperinflation kicks in, owners of more than one gun might be inclined to participate in firearm buy-back programs to pay bills, even if it means getting a fraction of the original purchase price.
Watch for huge moves by the EPA to regulate lead ammunition and fishing equipment, while simultaneously classifying reloading components as hazardous materials requiring special permits to store and purchase. And look for limits on how many rounds of ammo a gun owner can have at a time.Cash-starved municipalities might follow Chicago by passing a tax on each firearm sold in their jurisdictions, perhaps even a tax of a few cents on each bullet sold.
Perceived gun show “loopholes” will be sewn up tight and I expect we’ll see legislation that prohibits private party firearm sales and passing of firearms from one generation to the next as part of estates without special fees, permits or taxes.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention the administration’s announcement that the U.S. will return to the U.N. negotiating table in March in support of the global Small Arms Treaty.
Elections have consequences and, like it or not, America has chosen.