Gun Culture - 1994 vs 2014


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eocoolj
November 7, 2012, 02:30 AM
I am too young to remember the circumstances and the repercussions surrounding the 1994 gun ban, but I was hoping I could get some of you to weigh in.

I get the impression that guns which were referred to in the last ban as "assault weapons" (particularly the AR-15) are now FAR more mainstream than they were in 1994. I believe the AR, if all manufacturers and derivatives are combined, has been the top-selling centerfire rifle for the past few years. What was the top selling centerfire rifle in 1994? Were ARs and AKs significantly more rare to see at the range? Was the gun culture more focused on hunting rifles then? Do you think the gun culture overall has grown or contracted in the past 20 years?

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OARNGESI
November 7, 2012, 02:51 AM
thats a good question i bet at the very least there is 2-3x as many ar15s now than in 94 and people appreciate bayonets way more now.

Texan Scott
November 7, 2012, 03:10 AM
I remember, and I'm willing to bet there are enough antis left in DC who remember how that turned out for them that it won't happen again soon. They pretty much handed US gun makers a legal 10yr monopoly on semiautomatic rifles by banning the import of foreign ones, a year's warning in which to make more than enough hi-cap pre- bans to last a decade and then some, and a good excuse to charge 300% mark-up on them. By the time 2000 rolled around, and the NRA spent significantly more money than on any presidential race in history, some antis were realizing their mistake.... and a lot of them have lost seats over it. Bill Clinton knows this- he's admitted it in public. An AWB could be political suicide; but if they wanna try, it might be amusing to watch.

RBid
November 7, 2012, 03:16 AM
The last I heard, the FBI estimate for privately owned "assault weapons" was over 4 million. That was months ago.

The GAO should have a very comprehensive write-up on the results of the previous AWB for the Senate to review. Nothing in it would indicate that the AWB had been a success of any amount.

I'm more worried about SCOTUS appointments.

Mulk
November 7, 2012, 03:19 AM
Also isn't their more money to be made by the anti gun crowd by keeping the conflict going as opposed to actually winning on their terms? If they were to ever win it strikes me that their 7 to 8 figure a year cash cow would be dead right?

Sergei Mosin
November 7, 2012, 03:25 AM
RBid is quite right. The real problem here is Obama's control over the federal judiciary and particularly Supreme Court nominations. He has already appointed two anti-2A justices and he will certainly appoint another when Ginsburg retires, which will happen soon. Scalia and Kennedy are the wild cards - both pro-2A justices, both 76 years old. If one or both of them should retire or die while Obama is president, we're in deep trouble.

r1derbike
November 7, 2012, 04:08 AM
Civilian Assault Weapon; There's an oxymoron for you.

Previous videos of semi-automatic weapons at the start of scare videos, then quickly going to fully-auto weapons footage to show how dangerous semi-auto legal civilian rifles were, will reappear.

Expect the same level of under the table Brady Bill attention, this time around too.

They think all CCW holders are criminals, waiting to commit a crime.

I've got an observation; most politicians are criminals, who have committed crimes, but just haven't been caught yet.

As a lame-duck, our CIC will do and try anything to screw us...what has he got to lose?

Just hope we have enough support in D.C. to hammer him, and his under-the-table/under-the-radar sleazy, cloak and dagger politics.

This guy is not to be trusted the next 4 years.

I firmly believe politicians should be limited to two terms; one in office, the other in prison.

lechiffre
November 7, 2012, 05:40 AM
The 1994 ban created the demand for the AR-15.

evan price
November 7, 2012, 07:06 AM
Bear in mind that in 1994 Glocks were nowhere near as common but the "wondernine" high cap 9mm like Berettas and Rugers were.
Full capacity mags quadrupled in price. The phrase "Pre-Ban" entered the lexicon.

Otherwise it had no real effect except to cause a lot of milsurp rifles to have the threads cut off the barrels.

gp911
November 7, 2012, 08:26 AM
In 1994 the internet wasn't anything like it is now. Viewing pictures and loading one page took forever. The world is very different now and people aren't as insulated from other viewpoints. Information travels much faster now. ARs are MUCH more common now, but the scare tactics will be used for them along with ammo count, magazine capacity, etc.

breakingcontact
November 7, 2012, 08:28 AM
I'm more worried about SCOTUS appointments.

Bingo bango bongo.

It's all about this, other appointed judges and executive orders.

buck460XVR
November 7, 2012, 09:52 AM
There's been a lot of changes in the gun culture since 1994, and not just in the laws concerning what many refer to a "assault type weapons". Public positive attitude and acceptance of guns has increased greatly. By percentage many more folks in this country own guns now as back then. Look at the number of states that now allow concealed carry that would have thrown the book at you back then. Consider the increasing number of hunting and gun type TV shows that have appeared outta nowhere in the last 18 years. Public attitude in this country swings back and forth like a kite. Media hype, positive or negitive, right or wrong, has much to do with it. I remember the gun culture back in the early sixties when one could buy a then "military type assault rifle" from the back of a magazine or from a barrel in the sporting goods section of Montgomery Ward. This included high capacity semi-automatic M-1 Carbines. 45 years ago that all changed because of a negative image of guns portrayed by the media and those with power. Watching a coupla Presidents getting shot on T.V. didn't help either. Since then, education and positive image has made a big difference in the position guns have in our society today. So has electing folks that support us. We as gun owners need to continue that.

SilentScream
November 7, 2012, 10:06 AM
I don't think we have as much to worry about as we think. We all seem to forget how egocentric these politicians are and by that I mean Obama now has his "Legacy" to think about which to me means he's going to be worried more about getting his health care stuff up and running Vs. potentially sinking his party for another decade like Clinton did the last time around. However stranger things have happened.

GEM
November 7, 2012, 01:20 PM
There is scholarly and economic analyses that show that there are two gun cultures in the USA. One is the older outdoorsy hunting, classic target shooting crew and the other is a self-defense culture which also can have a strong urban and suburban constituency.

Of course there is some overlap, but the SD culture is where the growth is. The interest in AK, AR pattern guns is driven by SD culture as compared to hunting long arm desires.

The growth in gun sales reflects handguns for SD and the EBRs for home defense and disaster situations. That's the take I get from the scholary criminological work and the shooting industry analyses.

It would be hard to take away SD/HD guns now. I saw a picture of a guy sitting in front of his house in Long Beach, NY (where I had family) with a pump gun. This is NY and in the NY Times. No one seemed freaked out by it. So despite some pols of the usual type, SD and HD gun culture is growing. 55% of GOP and 40% of Democratic households own guns. Hard to undo that.

Kingcreek
November 7, 2012, 03:07 PM
The NSSF recently reported that 30% of recent gun buyers were buying their first gun, mostly for self defense, and I don't remember but a significant number of them were women.

Cosmoline
November 7, 2012, 03:12 PM
The 1994 ban created the demand for the AR-15.

Bingo. As a gun control law it was a failure, but it drew enormous attention to firearms which had previously been pretty exotic and expensive curiosities. By telling people they couldn't have these things, they made everyone want one. And the law's inherent idiocy made it an easy target for the pro-gun side. Far from marginalizing "assault weapons," the law helped make them America's favorite firearms.

barnbwt
November 7, 2012, 07:49 PM
The NSSF recently reported that 30% of recent gun buyers were buying their first gun, mostly for self defense, and I don't remember but a significant number of them were women.

Either people are more paranoid than ever before, or for some reason, they've shed the shame of defending themselves. It is a very weird and abrupt shift in attitudes that I've noticed in the last 10 years or so. The zombie culture thing is a reflection of it too; folks buying for defense, but still uncomfortable admitting (even to themselves) what they're defending against.

Society-level emotions tend to stem from some cause, and whatever it is in this case, it is certainly sowing unease in the herd...

By telling people they couldn't have these things, they made everyone want one.
No kidding; just look at how obsessed Japanese mass media is with firearms, considering no has or ever will have any (hence the massive Airsoft market over there). H&Ks entire civilian business model is based on this premise, too :neener:

TCB

gunnutery
November 7, 2012, 11:42 PM
The thing about the AWB that got me was the misinformation/ignorance surrounding it. People had no clue that the ban was only restricting manufacturers. I turned 18 in 1998 and bought my MAK90 and could still buy 30 round mags for it. I had friends and family that were surprised I was able to buy that.

I think with the "information age" people are starting to look at news media and have a little less trust in the people that are supposed tell us the truth. It was how many countless media outlets that told us there would be blood up to our ankles after CCW laws started popping up?

As others have said, SCOTUS is the biggest threat to our rights. Our recent victories have been very narrow ones. Which really blows my mind. We shouldn't have too much problems from legislators anytime soon, but the "justices" could cause major waves.

USAF_Vet
November 7, 2012, 11:59 PM
I enlisted in 98 at 18, so I was a little young to really see the initial effects of the '94 AWB. First AK I saw in real life was one that was being shot at me in Iraq. Since the sunset, I see an AK virtually every time I hit an outdoor range. AR's, I see them by the truckloads. I have one, all my friends either have one or are getting one. The gun culture has indeed become more acceptable in a lot of the country. The sheer volume of guns in private hands has grown since '04, and many of them are the evil hand guns that are easy to conceal, and the "hi cap" semi auto military styled rifles.

I have no doubt that O will attempt some form of gun control, but I don't think he'll have the support on either side of the aisle to get anything passed (without the use of an EO). I think that if he uses an EO to get his way, it won't be until after he's loaded up SCOTUS with leftist anti's. So I think we've got a couple years, at least, until we see any major push for gun control coming out of Washington.

Twiki357
November 8, 2012, 12:12 AM
RBid said: "I'm more worried about SCOTUS appointments."

Me to. Two or three of the conservative judges have said they were holding out until after this election and I'm afraid they won't make it until the next one.

The other thing that worries me is executive orders. Just like his majesty ignored immigration law, he can bypass congress and issue his own orders as to how the ATF/FBI/DOJ "Interprets" existing laws.

Onmilo
November 8, 2012, 11:07 AM
I think Mossberg has said it best with their new "Mossberg Modern Rifle" which is their take on the AR15 rifle. The guns aren't "Assault Rifles" anymore. They are modern hunting and sport weapons legitimately used and owned by Millions of shooters all over the country.

What struck me most about the 1994 ban was that it allowed domestic manufacture of the weapons to continue with some minor changes to "Evil" features while eliminating ALL import competition.
It also created an Us verses Them mentality by allowing Police and Security forces to have all the goodies common folk were no longer allowed and it solved nothing in the end.

Fact is, an American government cannot totally "Ban" anything firearm related, it would violate the Constitutional rights set down for American citizens. They can just make the stuff difficult to obtain or prohibitively expensive.

poco loco
November 8, 2012, 06:13 PM
Ar-15 variants are being sold at Wal-Mart here. I really think we have won the messaging war.

They are a mainstream weapon now unlike in 94, I do not think there are enough Democratic Senators or Congresscritters willing to sign on to even get something to the Presidents desk. Carolyn McCarthy will keep introducing the same bill with the same 13 sponsors and it will keep dieing in conference. Never even get to a vote.

The Dems well remember 94 and the number calling for bans or onerous restrictions are a small fraction of the Democratic Base. In fact it seems to me that they get more publicity from us than they do people who actually favor more controls than exist now. There are too many of us pro RKBA Democrats who are willing to stand up and say no, they do not have a free, zero push back audience like they did have.

Plus keep in mind it was Reagan who signed the Mulford act in California. Neither party can just be trusted, everything needs to be double verified because given the chance, imo, either major party would pass heavy gun control if they could. The real divide is not between Republicans and Democrats, it is between the 99% and the 1% and Plutocrats always like a docile unarmed populace. Much easier to control.

barnbwt
November 8, 2012, 07:43 PM
Ar-15 variants are being sold at Wal-Mart here. I really think we have won the messaging war.


We've finally got the proletariat access to neutered 50-year-old technology. We have definitely won our objectives. Until weapons are judged not by the color of their frames, but by the character of their owners, we have not won anything permanent.

Case in point is the ban on new full-auto guns. It was a logical leap in technology (foreseen centuries ago) no less dangerous (probably less so) than the advent of smokeless powder. The govt saw us fit to wield guns with powerful propellants, ergo they had no right to draw an arbitrary line in the sand based on further technological innovation. But the guns were successfully portrayed as tools of gangsters and subversives, and the public joyfully embraced their supposed salvation.

Imagine if computer technology was restricted to 50 year old hardware, in the interest of protecting our federal offices from hackers :scrutiny:. Powerful computers, after all, were developed solely for military interests...

TCB

Cosmoline
November 12, 2012, 02:38 PM
It's going to be tough to get people to change their views on full auto. Pointing out that mass shootings would be LESS deadly with the murderers spraying rounds on FA doesn't seem to make much headway, even if it's true. The best that can be hoped for is a reopening of the registry at some point. On the plus side, there's a lot more short barreled uppers being put together under ATF rules than there used to be, at least from what I've seen. The fact that the ATF has two old spinsters working on all the applications and a 6+ month turnaournd is something that should be addressed.

ol' scratch
November 12, 2012, 03:01 PM
I was a teenager during that time in Northern Michigan. The hunting rifle of choice in that area during that time? A Chinese or Russian SKS. You couild get one cheap at that time and I know lots of people who had one as their first rifle. I also remember seeing more than a few AK's (with 5 round mags) in the area. They just made sense and were sensibly priced for the most part.

After the ban, there were many very angry residents in that area. I would say that it did more to radicalize people than anything I can remember. I knew people who were toying with the idea of "canning" (packing them in grease and sealing them in PVC and burying them. I knew at least one person who did this) rifles so the government wouldn't find them. The Chicoms were no longer available, but the Yugos came in and guys started putting detachable duck bill mags for their C & R rifles. Many were butchered to try and make them look like an AK. I still see them pop up from time to time.

The other thing I remember about the time period is that the Antis didn't stop. First it was the so called "Assault Weapons". Then it was shotguns. At one point, they started talking about banning pumps and all semi automatics. This caused my dad inparticular to become really angry (he hunts with an Ithaca Mag-10). As someone who likes to shoot and grew up hunting and shooting, I thought it was the end of our sport. Something else that many people don't remember is that Clinton passed a measure that prohibited the sale of millions of 1911's to the civilian market. They scrapped them all. If I remember, they did the same thing to the M1 Carbines and many M1 Garands. This made MANY people angry in the milsurp market. In my lifetime, I don't remember a more antigun time. That is why I shudder when I think that Hilary Clinton could become President.

One thing that does trouble me is that some people never learned. I have read a few places online how they can have them as long as they don't come after what (I) like to shoot attitude. It was the same thing that they used to divide us in the 90's. Make no bones about it, they want them all. I like all firearms from Autos to smoke poles, so I really don't think there is a bad gun out there. If you don't like to shoot it, don't buy it, but don't try and keep it from those of us who DO want them. I must admit, I have purchased more black rifles due to a fear they MIGHT gain a foothold, but I am not going crazy.

siglite
November 13, 2012, 01:30 AM
There is scholarly and economic analyses that show that there are two gun cultures in the USA. One is the older outdoorsy hunting, classic target shooting crew and the other is a self-defense culture which also can have a strong urban and suburban constituency.

Of course there is some overlap, but the SD culture is where the growth is. The interest in AK, AR pattern guns is driven by SD culture as compared to hunting long arm desires.

The growth in gun sales reflects handguns for SD and the EBRs for home defense and disaster situations. That's the take I get from the scholary criminological work and the shooting industry analyses.

It would be hard to take away SD/HD guns now. I saw a picture of a guy sitting in front of his house in Long Beach, NY (where I had family) with a pump gun. This is NY and in the NY Times. No one seemed freaked out by it. So despite some pols of the usual type, SD and HD gun culture is growing. 55% of GOP and 40% of Democratic households own guns. Hard to undo that.
Academic cite? I'm very interested in reading this.

76shuvlinoff
November 13, 2012, 08:27 PM
In 1994 I owned a high cap pre ban Taurus (Beretta knockoff) a Mossberg 500 and a 79 Golden 39A.

Due to those times the collection has evolved..... :D

hayes1966
November 13, 2012, 08:37 PM
In 1994 I had an MAK90, SKS and shotgun. CT put in it's own AWB in 93 and the MAK was sold off. We still have the ban here, no ak47s, no uzis, no tech-9s, no flash hiders or bayonet lugs on ar15s. I now have a much expanded collection.

Mauserguy
November 13, 2012, 09:10 PM
Back in ‘94 was a young guy wandering the aisles of the Great Western Gun Show in Los Angeles. I had big eyes and empty pockets. I thought that the NRA callers were crazy, like ranting homeless or something. Was I wrong. Those guys were spot on.

As mentioned above, it served to radicalize lots of us. My interests have always been with the old bolt guns, but today I am an eager letter writer whenever any anti-gun legislation comes up. I don’t care if they are trying to ban fully automatic flame throwers. I’m squarely opposed to any new laws. Being in California, I write lots of letters.

It was also a time when many middle-Americans came to realize how they were vilified by the supposed elite. Ordinary citizens were looked upon as toothless bumpkins and psychopaths. The ’94 bans and the related politics made apparent to many that there are two Americas. I’m in the other one.
Mauserguy

CharlieBT
November 13, 2012, 09:34 PM
I was 35 then. In my view, we have a very different electorate, media and political climate than we did in 1994. Restrictions on firearm and component ownership seem not simply possible now but probable, IMO. SCOTUS is my primary concern, along with the rest of the federal judiciary.

CDW4ME
November 13, 2012, 11:11 PM
Select 1994 Gun memories:
The Glock 26/27 had not been released yet.
Wal-Mart sold Black Talon ammo ~ up to / just prior to that time.
S&W revolvers did not have a useless (to me) internal lock.
My state did not yet have concealed carry.

22-rimfire
November 13, 2012, 11:33 PM
Ok... we know that there were essentially two cultures in the years around 1994... the hunting and outdoor group and the self defense/shooter group. The concealed weapon permit system (shall issue) was growing state to state.

This was also a time of a lot of chaos in the industry caused by law suits against firearm manufacturers.

SKS's were selling for $80-$100 at gun shows. AK clones were selling for a little more...

Now.... tell me about how the AWB happened in the first place. Bill Clinton was president. What caused the NRA to negotiate with the anti-gunners and accept a 10-round magazine limit? Why were the military styled rifles considered so "evil"?

PAINT ME A PICTURE OF THE TIME WHEN THE BAN WAS ENACTED.

rodinal220
November 14, 2012, 12:10 AM
Ammo was cheap,dirt cheap during the Clinton era,unlike now.I bought most of my stash ammo during the 90s.I still have 7.62x39 cases(1K) with 69.99 on them!! Reloading components were a lot cheaper too.A lot of price gouging and profiteering going on.Most folks wanted AKs as the ammo and mags were cheaper.I could buy chi-com AK drums 75/100 for $20 after the initial panic buying subsided and the profiteering caused people to stop buying and the prices dropped,there wasn't a shortage of product.
Post ban rule beater guns came in like the MAK-90 that actually became cheaper than their pre-ban cousins,millions were sold.

The FBI stat listed above is pretty funny because millions of AK variants and SKS were sold during this time period and it took Winchester/USRAC 100 years to sell 3 million Model 94s.There are WAY MORE than 4 million so called assault weapons in the USA.

People are more serious about training nowdays and you are not labeled a survivalist nut case now,you train.Katrina showed the country that the goobermint wasn't always going to be the answer to your well being.

tomrkba
November 14, 2012, 12:18 AM
I am too young to remember the circumstances and the repercussions surrounding the 1994 gun ban, but I was hoping I could get some of you to weigh in.

I get the impression that guns which were referred to in the last ban as "assault weapons" (particularly the AR-15) are now FAR more mainstream than they were in 1994. I believe the AR, if all manufacturers and derivatives are combined, has been the top-selling centerfire rifle for the past few years. What was the top selling centerfire rifle in 1994? Were ARs and AKs significantly more rare to see at the range? Was the gun culture more focused on hunting rifles then? Do you think the gun culture overall has grown or contracted in the past 20 years?

My firearms experience started as the ban began.

First, I saw no point in having a small caliber pistol that could only carry 10 rounds in the magazine. Manufacturers started building guns around the 10 round magazine soon after. The limit also increased the popularity of the 1911. Therefore, I choice was 45 ACP for large guns and I skipped the small gun. I did flirt with a Browning Hi-Power chambered for 40 S&W. It was nice and I should have kept it. The Glock 23 with 10 round magazine was an acceptable compromise, but I preferred guns in 45 ACP.

"Assault" rifles were around and the 10 round limitation was just silly. It made for goofy looking guns, occasionally unreliable magazines, and a whole bunch of weird features. My first "assault" rifle was made by Daewoo. It was an interesting rifle with a thumbhole stock and no muzzle device. It worked well.

It seemed to me at the time that rifles in 7.62x51mm were very popular. The ammunition was cheap and surplus was commonly available. HK's seemed to get the 'nod', as did the M1A/M14. I saw a few AR-15s and AK's around. The SKS was popular, as was the Garand.

The real insult was twofold: ProMag advertised "high capacity" magazines which never worked properly and factory Glock magazines of standard capacity went from $15 to $75 overnight. I dropped $750 on Glock magazines. Those lasted for the rest of the ban. I used 10 round magazines for practice and training and the standard capacity magazines for defense.

cfullgraf
November 14, 2012, 12:30 AM
As a result of AWB of '94, many, if not all the black rifle manufacturers dropped the term "AR-15" from their gun models. Although the generic term as stuck, the various rifles have model designations that are not "AR-15".

Also, I understand part of the true definition of an assault rifle is that is has selective fire capabilities. Not many currently produced civilian arms have selective fire capabilities.

Of course, that does not mean squat to our elective officials. They tend to define things as they see fit.

AR-15 style rifles may have gotten popular in part because of AWB 94, but I feel it's rise in popularity is that it is a very good, accurate shooting platform that has alot of flexibility to be made into many variations.

I got interested in AR-15 style rifles as a result of getting involved with Service Rifle shooting. I considered the AR-15 marginally accurate and not really worth owning until I saw what the competitors were doing. And a good rille was not very expensive to boot.

I have several heavy, long barrel, "crew served", varmint AR's that in no way could be considered assault rifles except they share the same action as an M4gery. They shoot 1/2 to 2/4 inch MOA groups at 100 yards.

Owen Sparks
November 14, 2012, 01:22 AM
In 1994 AR's were sort of on the fringe. There were a few around but they were not mainstream and practically nobody hunted with one.

Now days they are the most popular rifle in the country.

Also countless millions of high capacity magazines have been sold since then.

sonick808
November 14, 2012, 01:27 AM
weird. I remember the AR-15 and Glock being ubiquitous back in 94, just far fewer boutique manufacturers, and the prices for certain "evil" parts and magazine capacities being labelled as "pre-ban", and costing 5 times as much as a "post-ban" magazine.

Old Guy
November 14, 2012, 02:07 AM
The President has kind of put himself in a good guy jacket.

He is going after terrorists (I got Bin Laden, me!) giving out kill orders, different than his first image, yes?

He is going to be tap dancing around the CIA resignation, Benghazi ville, etc, for a while. Not sure his mind is on gun control too much now.

Question, how come anti gunners are all ugly?

Pilot
November 14, 2012, 07:02 AM
I think the politicians in the legislatures know that another AWB or more gun control laws are political suicide, therefore, I doubt we wll see new laws passed. However, what we will see are attempts to tax ammo, regulate ammo due to lead content (EPA), regulate ammo components. If ammo is too expensive, or difficult to acquire the gun is essentially neutered.

Dean1818
November 14, 2012, 08:16 AM
I think the true time to worry is when there is a conservative that backs down from the supreme court


Right now, any action would be challenged, and go to the SC

If the court was tilted one vote..... Expect the action then.

Hacker15E
November 14, 2012, 08:39 AM
Let's not forget that the 94 AWB was not the first shot! In 1994, we were also still smarting from the 1989 import ban of semiauto rifles without a "sporting purpose". This is the law that banned imports of rifles with particular features, like pistol grips and flash hiders (sound familiar?) and led to makers making cosmetic changes to existing rifles so they could be imported, like the MAK-90 ('modified AK -- 1990').

That law was a public kneejerk to a schoolyard shooting out in California.

benEzra
November 14, 2012, 09:12 AM
Academic cite? I'm very interested in reading this.

Here is some data to get started. It's a few years old and it's a post I put together for a DU thread so not all of it may be relevant, and the numbers may have risen somewhat since I last looked, so use it as a jumping-off point.

We have hard data on the number of Americans who hunt, which is tracked annually, and the Census Bureau releases a report on hunting and fishing every 5 years.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/fhw06-nat.pdf

They show 12.5 million licensed hunters over the age of 16 as having hunted in 2006 (link, p. 4). If you add in the estimated 1.6 million hunters under 16, you get ~14.1 million active hunters in 2006 (p. 4). For the 5-year period between 2001 and 2006, they found that 18.6 million people hunted at least once during that time.

The consensus around the 'net is that the number of gun owning adults in the United States is about 80 million. So you're looking at a little under 1 in 5 gun owners being an active hunter, and little under 1 in 4 having hunted at any time in a 5-year period.

Over half of those own handguns (I have the cite floating around here somewhere, but don't have it at the moment, sorry), although many and perhaps most handgun owners also own long guns. Somewhere around 16 to 20 million of us own "assault weapons" as defined by H.R.1022 et seq, if you look at the ownership totals of all the guns so defined, but since the definition of "assault weapon" is arbitrary, that number can range anywhere from 4 to 40 million depending on whose definition you use.

About 34.4 million people went target shooting in 2009, about 8.9 million of whom were using AR-15 type rifles and other modern-looking carbines, which dominate both competitive and recreational target shooting in the USA.

http://www.nssf.org/newsroom/releases/2010/041910.cfm

As far as gun sales go, in a typical year, 5 to 9 million gun sales are approved by the NICS Federal background check system (which includes new and used guns sold by dealers, but not private sales between individuals in states that don't require those to go through NICS). This is about evenly split between handguns (mostly semiautomatics) and long guns (also mostly semiautomatics). About 8 or 9 billion (yes, with a "b") rounds of ammunition are sold each year as well, the overwhelming majority of which is expended by recreational target shooters, as hunters would generally fire only a few hundred rounds a year. There was a surge in 2008-2009 due to fears about new proposals for an "assault weapon" ban, leading to 12 million NICS approvals in 2008 and about 14 million in 2009, with 14.033 billion rounds of ammunition sold in 2009 as well.

http://www.ammoland.com/2010/01/13/gun-owners-buy-14-million-plus-guns-in-2009

I don't have citations for this handy, but a single model of rifle, the AR-15 platform, accounts for about 1 in 4 centerfire rifles sold annually. AR-15's are manufactured by approximately 30 companies and are currently the top selling centerfire rifle in the United States.

The top selling ammunition caliber in the USA is .22LR, due to its low cost. I don't have sources handy for this either, but the top selling centerfire rifle calibers are AFAIK .223 Remington (AR-15, mini-14), 7.62x39mm (AK, SKS), and .308 Winchester (M1A, FAL, many target and hunting rifles), in that order. I believe the top selling centerfire handgun caliber is consistently 9mm, though I can't find any sources at the moment.

In most polls as to the reason for owning a firearm, the reasons are consistently (1) defensive purposes, (2) target shooting, (3) hunting, and (4) collecting, in that order. For example:

http://www.nssf.org/newsroom/releases/2010/033110.cfm
http://www.nssf.org/share/PDF/NSSFHarris-data-participation.pdf (raw data for above)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/gun-ownership-use-america.aspx (absolute numbers for all categories are higher than actual participation, but relative order is the same)

So you know where I'm coming from, I'm a nonhunter who shoots recreationally, competitively when I can (USPSA pistol and carbine), and holds a CHL. I'm somewhat interested in hunting and may actually get around to taking the NC hunter's safety course this year, but it's not high on my priority list.

gp911
November 14, 2012, 09:57 AM
When you ask about the political climate and how the AWB happened you have to remember there was no youtube, no facebook, no streaming video of happy folks enjoying firearms, etc. Whatever your home environment and local political climate was, well, as SM sez: "How raised, what you do."

People couldn't learn all about firearms from their living room couch back then, so if the people on TV said something about evil assault weapons being banned then it must be true, unless you owned one and knew better. A lot of hunters were okay with the ban because hunting already has magazine restrictions, licensing, etc and they figured nobody was coming for their hunting guns so why worry about those ugly commie guns and their "banana clips" and whatnot.

Now you can change hearts & minds country-wide by having a conversation online and sharing some links to good information. Back then it was a whole different ballgame. The AWB will be a much harder sell these days, but the real danger is SCOTUS appointees changing the court's majority viewpoint to anti-gun and allowing for all sorts of backdoor infringements to stand.

ManBearPig
November 14, 2012, 12:37 PM
Ar-15 variants are being sold at Wal-Mart here. I really think we have won the messaging war.


Here's the problem with that, the anti-gun side has just as much love for redefining terms as it does comeing up with made-up terms like "assault clips". So we need to show the sales of ARs and AKs over the past....say 20 years; to prove they are "in common use". Not that that will stop the Brady Campaign from trying to redefine the word common so it fits their agenda. I'm positive they will try to say common doesn't mean common.

DammitBoy
November 14, 2012, 12:45 PM
Scotus appointments for the win.

I'm also very concerned on the taxation angle. It worked for healthcare, it will be used on firearms. We will see a tax on firearm sales to help with healthcare costs related to firearm deaths/injuries.

We will see a tax on ammunition and an effort to make ammunition sales regulated. We will probably see a new effort to call ammunition a hazmat material.

cfullgraf
November 14, 2012, 02:08 PM
While I would not put it past any government official to raise taxes on anything, a wide spread tax on an industry will probably backfire. Clinton tried to tax high cost luxury items in the nineties and it darn near put the economy in a tail spin as folks stopped buying them.

Firearms have a wider effect than just the purchase of the firearm or ammunition itself. So if the firearm industry takes a hit, a broader segment of the economy (tourism, hunting, camping sales, travel, etc) will be affected.

That is not to say isolated instances such as Cook County will not happen. Politicians there are wanting to look like they are doing something with their gang war problems.

We still need to support those who work to maintain gun rights and oppose anything against it.

I once attended a talk by and FAA accident investigation official. He commented that one of the frequent questions he was asked was he not tired of all the publicity the press heaps on any aviation accident. His answer was the publicity keeps the aviation industry striving to become ever safer. If the publicity stops, the industry will fall into complacency.

Similar comments can be made about our firearm sport and hobbies. We cannot become complacent on any small infringement of firearms and firearm ownership.

Owen Sparks
November 14, 2012, 02:21 PM
We now have statistics on our side that prove that the AWB had no measurable effect on violent crime and that so called assault rifles were only used in about one and a half percent of all gun crimes since then. Not that facts and reason will have any effect on emotion based liberalism, but facts can sway the vast majority of people in the middle who are generally open to reason.

razorback2003
November 14, 2012, 02:28 PM
I hated paying 70 bucks for used Glock 15 round magazines, but I did. The whole Clinton thing was a pain because you ended up paying more for magazines.

AR's are much more popular now and mainstream than in the mid 90's. It would be a lot harder for the fed govt to stop the new manufacture of them.

GEM
November 14, 2012, 04:15 PM
Gun culture article:

Wyant, B.R., & Taylor, R. B. (2007). Size of household firearm collections: implication for subcultures and gender. Criminology, 45, 519-546. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-9125.2007.00087.x

Hacker15E
November 14, 2012, 08:10 PM
Oh, to go back to those pre-94 days when few had ARs and most had tacti-cool'd out SKSs!

siglite
November 14, 2012, 11:45 PM
Here is some data to get started. It's a few years old and it's a post I put together for a DU thread so not all of it may be relevant, and the numbers may have risen somewhat since I last looked, so use it as a jumping-off point.

We have hard data on the number of Americans who hunt, which is tracked annually, and the Census Bureau releases a report on hunting and fishing every 5 years.

http://www.census.gov/prod/2008pubs/fhw06-nat.pdf

They show 12.5 million licensed hunters over the age of 16 as having hunted in 2006 (link, p. 4). If you add in the estimated 1.6 million hunters under 16, you get ~14.1 million active hunters in 2006 (p. 4). For the 5-year period between 2001 and 2006, they found that 18.6 million people hunted at least once during that time.

The consensus around the 'net is that the number of gun owning adults in the United States is about 80 million. So you're looking at a little under 1 in 5 gun owners being an active hunter, and little under 1 in 4 having hunted at any time in a 5-year period.

Over half of those own handguns (I have the cite floating around here somewhere, but don't have it at the moment, sorry), although many and perhaps most handgun owners also own long guns. Somewhere around 16 to 20 million of us own "assault weapons" as defined by H.R.1022 et seq, if you look at the ownership totals of all the guns so defined, but since the definition of "assault weapon" is arbitrary, that number can range anywhere from 4 to 40 million depending on whose definition you use.

About 34.4 million people went target shooting in 2009, about 8.9 million of whom were using AR-15 type rifles and other modern-looking carbines, which dominate both competitive and recreational target shooting in the USA.

http://www.nssf.org/newsroom/releases/2010/041910.cfm

As far as gun sales go, in a typical year, 5 to 9 million gun sales are approved by the NICS Federal background check system (which includes new and used guns sold by dealers, but not private sales between individuals in states that don't require those to go through NICS). This is about evenly split between handguns (mostly semiautomatics) and long guns (also mostly semiautomatics). About 8 or 9 billion (yes, with a "b") rounds of ammunition are sold each year as well, the overwhelming majority of which is expended by recreational target shooters, as hunters would generally fire only a few hundred rounds a year. There was a surge in 2008-2009 due to fears about new proposals for an "assault weapon" ban, leading to 12 million NICS approvals in 2008 and about 14 million in 2009, with 14.033 billion rounds of ammunition sold in 2009 as well.

http://www.ammoland.com/2010/01/13/gun-owners-buy-14-million-plus-guns-in-2009

I don't have citations for this handy, but a single model of rifle, the AR-15 platform, accounts for about 1 in 4 centerfire rifles sold annually. AR-15's are manufactured by approximately 30 companies and are currently the top selling centerfire rifle in the United States.

The top selling ammunition caliber in the USA is .22LR, due to its low cost. I don't have sources handy for this either, but the top selling centerfire rifle calibers are AFAIK .223 Remington (AR-15, mini-14), 7.62x39mm (AK, SKS), and .308 Winchester (M1A, FAL, many target and hunting rifles), in that order. I believe the top selling centerfire handgun caliber is consistently 9mm, though I can't find any sources at the moment.

In most polls as to the reason for owning a firearm, the reasons are consistently (1) defensive purposes, (2) target shooting, (3) hunting, and (4) collecting, in that order. For example:

http://www.nssf.org/newsroom/releases/2010/033110.cfm
http://www.nssf.org/share/PDF/NSSFHarris-data-participation.pdf (raw data for above)
http://www.gallup.com/poll/20098/gun-ownership-use-america.aspx (absolute numbers for all categories are higher than actual participation, but relative order is the same)

So you know where I'm coming from, I'm a nonhunter who shoots recreationally, competitively when I can (USPSA pistol and carbine), and holds a CHL. I'm somewhat interested in hunting and may actually get around to taking the NC hunter's safety course this year, but it's not high on my priority list.
Outstanding. I have some reading to do. Thanks.

threefeathers
November 15, 2012, 12:11 AM
The 94 hit me by surprise. I immediately took a loan out and bought an HBAR. I had a 40 witness and S&W 915 as my only high cap guns. Mags for all of these went out of sight. I had 4 for the Witness and 5 for the 915. I had 5 twenty round mags for the HBAR that I had brought back from ADuty. I still have the and the work today. I had only 2 thirty rounders until my son 'left; some when he was home on leave from the 82nd,
I carried a 1911 for CCW and fired Service rifle comp with the HBAR. Around 1997 I got a nice High Power with 3 mags and an M1 carbine that included 4 Issue 30 round mags.
On 9/11 I helped patrol the bridges on I-10 near the border and carried the HBAR and 1911, and my buddy had a British Jungle Carbine with AP rounds and a Colt Commander.
By that time high cap mags were selling for triple their normal price,
The day the ban ended I bought a Bushmaster M Forgery, and a SIG 229 with 5 mags. I haven't stopped. I now have 7 AR's of different types and at least 15 mgs per gun.

Owen Sparks
November 15, 2012, 12:43 AM
The day the ban ended I bought a Bushmaster M Forgery, and a SIG 229 with 5 mags. I haven't stopped. I now have 7 AR's of different types and at least 15 mgs per gun.

This is why any new ban would be innefective. Too many people own too many modern rifles and high capacity magazines compaired to 20 years ago.

chicharrones
November 15, 2012, 01:00 AM
In 1994 AR's were sort of on the fringe. There were a few around but they were not mainstream and practically nobody hunted with one.

That is my memory as well. I just didn't see near as many in the gun stores or at the range back then. The military pattern rifles I saw were nearly all mil-surps back then.

chicharrones
November 15, 2012, 01:05 AM
People couldn't learn all about firearms from their living room couch back then, so if the people on TV said something about evil assault weapons being banned then it must be true, unless you owned one and knew better. A lot of hunters were okay with the ban because hunting already has magazine restrictions, licensing, etc and they figured nobody was coming for their hunting guns so why worry about those ugly commie guns and their "banana clips" and whatnot.

All I had was what most civilians had. Gun magazines and newspapers. The newspapers carried some of the political stories and the NRA magazines carried our side of it.

I remember taking my SKS out back then with people publicly telling me it was "illegal" even though I bought it legally from the local sporting goods store. Regular uneducated shooters at that time seemed to think anything with a gas tube was military only.

benEzra
November 15, 2012, 08:10 AM
In 1994 AR's were sort of on the fringe. There were a few around but they were not mainstream and practically nobody hunted with one.
Yes. They were very much an enthusiasts' gun, and there weren't very many good options for optics either. The most common configuration I saw was 20" HBAR boat anchors mostly limited to iron sights only unless you wanted a low-powered traditional scope in a gooseneck mount. Aftermarket pistol grip stocks had hit the market for the SKS and Ruger mini-14, so you occasionally saw those (and I wanted one badly for my mini pre-1994 but never made it a financial priority) but guns with traditional looking straight wooden stocks dominated at the range.

Owners of modern-looking rifles were sometimes subjected to snide comments by older or more traditional shooters at the range, too, showing just how successfully the media had propagated the "black gun = evil gun" meme. I remember talking to people who had been approached by random strangers at the range and criticized for owning a gun "like that". Never mind an AR was and is functionally identical to a Ruger mini-14...plenty of shooters who should have known better were as emotionally wrapped up in black-rifle hysteria as the media were.

Fast forward to now, when the AR isn't just in the mainstream but *defines* the mainstream, and probably 50 million gun owners collectively own half a billion full-capacity magazines for various guns, and there is simply no way a ban could fly now, either politically or logistically.

gfanikf
November 15, 2012, 08:35 AM
That is my memory as well. I just didn't see near as many in the gun stores or at the range back then. The military pattern rifles I saw were nearly all mil-surps back then.

Honestly I never even knew ARs existed, it was all AKs that would be talked about.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I747 using Tapatalk 2

22-rimfire
November 15, 2012, 12:40 PM
I remember the George H W Bush import ban in, 1989 (I believe). For me there was little warning. I bought an Uzi Mini-carbine immediately. But really didn't like shooting it much, so I sold it after owning it a few months. It simply did not seem to be accurate enough for me for a rifle.

The 1994 AWB was something that I was fairly familiar with. But information was not timely and was gained mostly from reading gun magazines. I was attending gunshows frequently between 1989 and 1994. But it was at this time that my financial situation changed and I bought very very few firearms for the next 10-years.

Owen Sparks said...This is why any new ban would be innefective. Too many people own too many modern rifles and high capacity magazines compaired to 20 years ago.

Grandfathering existing guns would make a new ban in effective relative to reducing crime if that is the justification for the legislation. Our President said something significant about taxation during the campaign... he basically said that he wanted to tax people earning 250K or more at a higher rate because it is "right". A gun ban would likely be sold in the same way and the facts or the reality relative to law enforcement would not matter. Hence it is about people control for our "own good" just like Obama Care.

A ban would only be effective from an anti-gun supporter perspective if the actual guns are moved to the NFA catagory or banned outright. There would be a problem of definition just like during the '94 AWB time.

A magazine ban is another matter entirely. The government (if passed legislatively) could in fact make it law that use of magazines that exceed 10-rounds is illegal. Shooting ranges would have to comply. You would still see the occasional person wandering around the woods with his 30-round mag, but in general a ban would end it. This is what I am afraid of. As a civilian. I personally don't care for box magazines that hold more than about 20 rounds. But everyone is different. It is not for me to say that I am right and someone else is wrong with regard to something like a detachable magazine.

BenEzra said... Yes. They were very much an enthusiasts' gun, and there weren't very many good options for optics either....

That is pretty much my take as well. I saw lots of SKS and AK clones but few AR-15 or clones at that time.

I recall my father and I discussing the "assault rifle" issue. His point was that he saw no utilitarian purpose for them. He lived through the Depression and there was no attempted overthrow of the governent then. So why would anyone justify owning one of these rifles for "self defense" when a handgun or most any rifle would adequately fulfil the civilian need. My point was mostly about freedom. Why should the government be allowed to control ownership or sales of rifles when the owner was not a felon? People shoot them for fun. Some hunt with these rifles.

He also looked at it from a cost point of view... how can any normal working person afford to plink away hundreds of center fire rounds on any regular basis? He didn't know about military surplus sources and was comparing the cost to normal center fire ammunition. He felt the same way about shooting away with almost all handguns except 22's. Who could afford it?

BenEzra said... Owners of modern-looking rifles were sometimes subjected to snide comments by older or more traditional shooters at the range, too, showing just how successfully the media had propagated the "black gun = evil gun"....

Fast forward to now, when the AR isn't just in the mainstream but *defines* the mainstream, and probably 50 million gun owners collectively own half a billion full-capacity magazines for various guns, and there is simply no way a ban could fly now, either politically or logistically.

Yes, they do seem to be mainstream now which is probably why you see people using them for criminal pursuits more than in the past.

Gun legislation politically is one thing, but logistically is an entirely different matter. Like the illegal alien issue, it is physically impossible to enforce a ban or deport 12 million people. So it would be selective enforcement where LE would be influenced by their prejudices.

I just hope that we don't have to deal with this. No new laws!

benEzra
November 15, 2012, 04:51 PM
Yes, they do seem to be mainstream now which is probably why you see people using them for criminal pursuits more than in the past.
Actually, people are *not* using them for criminal pursuits more than in the past. Rifle crime now is AFAIK as low as it has ever been in the history of the United States. In any given year, less than 3% of U.S. homicides involve any kind of rifle ("assault weapon" or not), and rifle crime has decreased significantly since 2004.

FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2010, Murder, by State and Type of Weapon (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2010/crime-in-the-u.s.-2010/tables/10tbl20.xls)

Sum the columns in Excel and compare the total in the "Rifles" column to handguns, shotguns, knives, fists/feet, and blunt objects. Rifles are consistently least misused of *any* class of weapon in this country, bar none.

-v-
November 15, 2012, 06:08 PM
I think this post on vuurwapen blog summed it up nicely: http://vuurwapenblog.com/2012/11/07/sporting-purposes-how-hk-really-does-not-suck-or-hate-you/
But in the '80s and '90s, magazine editors, hunting guides, state game commissioners, and competitive shooting groups were consulted by the ATF in order to determine whether certain rifles were importable under the '89 import ban, and taking into consideration the "sporting purposes" test. I won't be debating the merits of that "test" here, because it is a somewhat complex matter, although my position on the issue should not be a huge mystery (hint: it's dumb).

What I want to focus on is the response of the magazine editors in particular. On multiple occasions, ATF asked them if rifles such as the SG550, FN FAL, AK-47, etc. had any useful "sporting purpose." When polled directly in 1989, 0 (zero) of 14 magazine editors responded in the affirmative.
....
Well, of the manufacturers, trade groups, and so on that received letters from ATF seeking their input, exactly one company made an active attempt to stop what they saw coming....Which manufacturer was this?

HK. Basically, the gun world of the US at that time said "Yeah, ban AK's, FALs, AR15s and the like. They have no purpose. Now, even hinting that there might not be a reason to own X gun will get you internet lynch-mobbed.

hq
November 15, 2012, 06:29 PM
Now, even hinting that there might not be a reason to own X gun will get you internet lynch-mobbed.

For a good reason. The choice to use virtually whatever gun for a legal purpose is personal. Bans based on cosmetics, irrelevant technical details or other people's opinions have never accomplished anything, they just undermine the freedom of choice.

I can't even remember how many times someone has told me that my 11" AR15 isn't suitable for hunting. I beg to differ, I've used that particular rifle successfully since the 80's and I have literally hundreds of downed game animals to prove it. After all, it's my business what I hunt them with.

Live and let live.

MagnumDweeb
November 16, 2012, 12:24 PM
As long as either the House or the Senate is made up of a majority of red states we're fine. Plus too many Democrats are scared of having the issue backfire on them. And now with gun companies being as strong as they are and gun issues being litigated with some measure of success. I think the gun companies would take a shot at legally fighting a ban on certain models of firearms and magazines if it meant a nationwide attack on their profit margins.

Some might say they never fought any of the liberal states policies, but those states weren't really a profit loss. But lose the entire country, and you are taking about tens of millions if not hundreds of millions of dollars in lost profits. Whose going to buy an AR they can only get ten round mags for. Used goods would become the premium ticket and gun companies don't make any money off of the private sale of used goods.

With the AR15 being as popular as it is and the money that stands to be lost if the mag ban were to happen again. I think someone would want to fight it. It's too big of a business not to. What is the justification going to be on limiting magazine capacity when folks can just tape mags together. Yes some rate of fire would be lost, but not a ton.

I love capitalism, it's perfect justification for telling the government to back off.

22-rimfire
November 16, 2012, 01:02 PM
Many Democratic legislators do not support a ban of any kind on firearms. But the Democrats seem to be much better at creating a solid voting block as compared to the Republican members. That said, I don't see any legislation passing both houses for the next two years unless there is some sort of dramatic event which propagates such action. The "event" that comes to mind is not a shooting in a school or movie theater, but rather some sort of organized rebellion that is geographically widespread inside the US. I would think it too late at that point and I don't support such a scenario.

Old Guy
December 8, 2012, 05:49 AM
Over the last 20 years, when ever the subject comes up "Will you go and collect legal guns from Citizens" Canada, or the US of A. Question to Police.

Politically correct statements emerge. But as a Domestic Violence call is the most dangerous patrol call at this time. It would be nothing compared to trying to collect the 70 year old former Marines M1. The Mil Spec 3006 would make a mess of the Fords and GM vehicles. "Get off my lawn" would be epidemic.

The biggest comment in the Police Stations? "You have to be kidding!"

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