You might say that the nation?s gun enthusiasts have dodged a bullet. Since Barack Obama was elected president almost a year ago, anxiety has plagued the firearm and ammunition market.
A shortage of ammunition and a run on guns sales came after the election, based in part on fears that the Obama administration would push antigun legislation or set hefty taxes on ammunition and firearms.
The climate actually proved to be a boon for some gun dealers because market forces drove the price of both commodities up. Some were buying more firearms, just in case additional ownership regulations were enacted. Others stockpiled ammunition, contributing to the shortage.
But the availability of firearms and ammo in the Permian Basin didn?t seem to be that crucial, at least by what dealers told reporters from this newspaper when the questions were asked.
Nevertheless, there are signs that the tight market may be loosening. No attempts to further control guns have been made by Obama administration officials and the president has said he respects Second Amendment rights, but favors "common sense" on gun laws. He even signed a law allowing people to carry loaded guns in national parks.
This is good news for West Texans who love to hunt or even enjoy regular trips to the gun range — and it?s comforting for those who prefer to have weapons to protect their families and property.
Maybe the inflated prices will moderate and the firearms and ammunition market, which always has been a significant part of the local economy, can get back to normal.