I actually ventured to the local gun show at the GRB this past weekend. Good Gravy! That was a show and a half. Event organizers were calling it the most profitable gun show in Houston history. And I heard there are six more shows planned between now and "the ascension" in January.
I only went on Sunday looking for a few essential items. I can now cross off my list the low-profile scope mount for the G3 clone. I also found a GREAT deal on two CRKT fix blade knives. Couldn't pass it up at $50. All told, I walked in with $100 cash and had money to spare walking out.
I was amazed at the crowds...let me rephrase.... I was mildly surprised by the crowds. It was expected to be a high turnout, but I didn't plan on it being THAT huge. From the git I had to wait ten minutes just to buy my ticket. That should have tripped my warning bells.
Lines were long and the crowds thick. I passed by the table I used to work for one of the Dallas vendors, and they actually closed at three yesterday to handle the four hour wait to process paperwork. Yes, I said it...FOUR. HOUR. WAIT. That was the shortest wait yesterday. As an aside, they were all out of long guns. In shows past, we had Sig 556, DPMS, some Colt ARs on the table. There were a couple of WASR-10s, shotties of various flavors, and some exotic stuff like SU-16, PS90 et. al. The only long gun left was a Barrett .50. I couldn't even get close enough to see the price tag on it. Pistols were usually the hot item of the shows I worked. Since they ran out of long arms, pistols were running a close second. No Glocks left, all the bug guns were gone (even the cheap multi-colored .25 cal. ones), and everything else was starting to fly off the table.
Funny to note: The tables with the long waits were the ones with the mediocre prices at shows past. They got smart and carried more inventory with a lower markup to cover the expected crush. Only one big table was carrying a 1-hour wait or less (guess what their prices were like?). The local AR-15 house had to run back to the shop for more inventory Saturday night. I went over to the store today to pick up some spare springs and pins. Nada. Bupkis. Zip. Backordered by a year from their parts distributor. I did get my front sight tool, one spring replacement kit (the last one) and some rail covers. Their walls were bare. I am not kidding...they were empty. Talking to one of the employees yesterday, they had to run back to Houston from the Ft. Worth show two weeks ago because they ran completely out of rifles, uppers, lowers, stripped receivers, parts and optics.
Don't even get me started on the ammo situation. Okay, get me started. Big Dog Ammo is the largest ammo dealer at the Houston shows. Rumor has it he brings close to $2 million in ammo to each show. I walked by his table and they were only selling DPX, some Speer Lawman, and other oddball calibers by the box. Usually, he has the best deals on any and all military rifle calibers and even better on bulk pistol ammo prices. That whole side of his table was completely bare.
Here's my take: I think this is post-election jitters and will soon die down. I don't believe anyone has anything to worry about through NOBama's first 100 days. The press uses the first 100 days as a benchmark to see how the new president is adjusting to the job and see where his focus will lie for the rest of the four years.
I DO BELIEVE that we will see something in the form of AWB II come to light before the midterm elections. HB 1022 may get pushed out of committee and onto the floor for debate (which is what the Dems were probably waiting for when it was authored). Should that happen, we will have at least a couple of years of a AWB. If the next ban takes effect, what I saw last weekend will be a walk in the park in comparison.
Should the ban happen, there will be a power shift come 2010. Republicans will take back power in both the Senate and House. Maybe we can get it reversed at that time, or wait for 2012.
I don't have a magic 8-ball, so I cannot say for certain what will be banned, but plan on all of it. We'll be left with .22 cal. muzzle loaders and cap guns for sport shooting. A friend told me the time to buy is now. DUH!!! I've got what I need and don't plan on any more. Right now, the time to buy spares of everything and in multiples of ten is now. If you have what you need in a safe at home, great. I recommend stocking up on ammo, reloading components, lots of primers and powder, lead casting equipment would be nice, AR lowers (stripped and loaded), a couple of uppers in various delightful flavors, .22 conversion kits for all your guns, furniture, spare firing pins, springs, pins, screws, etc. etc.
I'm praying it is going to be less of a blow to our 2nd Amendment rights than we fear. Still and all, I'm going to do what needs to be done to prepare for the worst. Best of luck.