Armalite .50-Caliber Rifle. Pre-Ban Sales Surge?

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AmaLite’s Arthur Steadman reports that the company’s AR50 A1 rifles are all the rage. “There’s been a sudden strong surge. We’re as pleased as punch.” Yes, well, numbers? “I can’t tell you how many ‘extra’ 50’s we’ve sold or the percentage jump from last month or last year,” Arthur reports, unhelpfully. “Let me put it this way: our dealers now have a 90-day lead time.” Arthur says his employer will trim that waiting period to “in-stock” by the end of the month. Meanwhile, the new-media maven attributes the sales surge to the .50-cal’s reasonable price (“three and change”) and the fact that even a new shooter can achieve excellent marksmanship quickly (albeit “with a decent scope”). There is an alternative theory . . .

As we reported from SHOT, when California banned the .50-caliber rifle, a whole new crop of gun owners decided they had to add one to their collection. Before that, the large caliber firearms found favor ahead of President Obama’s election—along with anything else that fired a bullet and the bullets themselves.

Is it possible an emboldened (i.e. re-elected) Obama would try a little “under the radar” executive fiat-style gun control? If so, why wouldn’t the administration target the .50? No one “needs” such a destructive gun, right? (Hey, it worked for “assault weapons.”) Perhaps gun owners are gearing-up for an ATF-sponsored, enabled and enforced ban on .50 rifles.

If you’re considering buying a .50 caliber rifle—and why wouldn’t you (aside from price, ammo cost and range limitations)—now might be a good time to act. Realizing that the ATF could make the gun’s prohibition retroactive. Which would really suck.

Oh, did I mention Illinois bill HB1294?

Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Criminal Code of 1961. Provides that 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act, it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed a semi-automatic assault weapon, an assault weapon attachment, any .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge. Provides that beginning 90 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act, it is unlawful for any person within this State to knowingly manufacture, deliver, sell, purchase, or possess or cause to be manufactured, delivered, sold, purchased, or possessed a large capacity ammunition feeding device.

Illinois (i.e. Chicago) wants to abridge Americans’ right to keep and bear arms and it wants to ArmaLite to leave the state? That makes sense.