Stocking up on Black Friday sets record high
Another new record in gun sales.
On Black Friday 2012, Americans set a new high for a single day of firearms sales: 154,873. This number represents the background checks done by federally licensed dealers through the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The actual number of gun sales is much larger, since some states do not use NICS and private citizens selling firearms are not required to do background checks.
The previous record NICS sales, 129,166 set on Black Friday of last year, was shattered by 20 percent. Not only that, the following day, Saturday, Nov. 24 had 88,419 NICS background checks, ranking it in the top ten sales days of all time.
Industry analysts attribute the strong sales now and in recent years mainly to a national political climate that is not friendly to gun ownership; but, another positive influence is a recent increase in hunting license sales nationally, which marks a possible end to the decade-long decline in the number of people hunting.
• The war on wild hogs in Tennessee is escalating, and the judicial system now has some convictions on illegal transplanting of wild hogs. It has been a year and a half since the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency eliminated the general hunting of wild hogs and basically declared open war on them on private property.
A pair of guilty pleas recently have been made in cases involving numerous charges with wild hogs in Moore and Lewis counties in Middle Tennessee. One included 16 counts of illegal possession of hogs and resulted in $4,944 in fines and court costs. Another person pled guilty to seven counts of illegal possession of hogs, plus other related charges, and received fines and courts costs totaling $1,654 and loss of his hunting and trapping privileges.
Wild hogs cause extensive damage to farm crops, wildlife habitat, contribute to extreme erosion and stream pollution, and carry diseases harmful to livestock or other animals as well as humans. The primary reason for wild hogs rapid spread is illegal movement by those who wish to establish new hog populations for hunting.
As these cases are settled the TWRA is announcing that a reward program has now been established for information leading to a conviction of persons dealing in the sale, illegal transportation and/or stocking of wild hogs. A reward of $3,500 is now in effect and made possible by contributions from TWRA, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, the Tennessee Farm Bureau Federation, and the Tennessee Ornithological Society.
The TWRA is among the more than 20 entities from both private sector organizations and state government agencies that have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreeing to work cooperatively in regard to wild hogs. More information can be found at http://www.tnwildlife.org .
• The U.S. Senate needs your prompt encouragement to pass the Sportsmen’s Act of 2012 (S.3525), the most important package of measures for the benefit of sportsmen in a generation. This legislation includes the firearms industry’s top legislative priority, the Hunting, Fishing and Recreational Shooting Protection Act (S. 838), which would clarify that ammunition is excluded from regulation by the Environmental Protection Agency under the Toxic Substances Control Act. This legislation will promote, protect and preserve our nation’s hunting, shooting and conservation heritage for generations to come.
The main concern with the bill in the Senate is resolving budgetary concerns in a bipartisan manner. The U.S. House of Representatives has passed its companion bill (H.R. 4089). Both bills have strong support of no fewer than 46 of the nation’s leading sportsmen and conservation groups.
Tom Wiest welcomes news, questions and comments from readers. Contact him at (firstname.lastname@example.org)