Obama's election in 2008 touched off a run on guns, because gun rights advocates perceived him to hold antigun views. Americans spent $11 billion more in 2009 than in 2008 to buy guns, ammo, and gear – even in the face of recession.
Among the estimated 80 million gun owners in the US, many apparently didn't believe Obama when, on the 2008 campaign trail, he said : “I believe there is a Second Amendment right. I think it is an individual right. I think people have the right to lawfully bear arms.”
After it became clear that the new administration wouldn't propose, for example, reinstating the lapsed assault-weapons ban, and after US Supreme Court rulings that buttressed Second Amendment rights, the gun-buying frenzy tapered.
(FBI reports show gun violence in the US has declined, surprising those criminologists who saw the combination of the 2009 gun run and high jobless rates as a recipe for a spike in gun crimes and violence.)
The National Rifle Association and gun rights bloggers panned Traver's Nov. 17 nomination, saying his role as an adviser to an antigun-violence conference attended by Chicago Mayor Richard Daley proves that he's an "antigun zealot." Traver is also involved in the International Association of Chiefs of Police, which lobbies for tougher firearms laws to decrease urban gun violence.