Company Prepares For Huge Surge In Gun Sales If Americans Decide County Can Suffer Another 4 Years Of Obama

September 14, 2012

NEBRASKA – As Cabela’s Inc. CAB +0.45% prepares the selection of guns it will sell for the holiday season and winter hunting, the outdoor-gear retailer has two plans: one if President Barack Obama is re-elected, and one if he isn’t.

The Sidney, Neb.-based retailer and other companies in the guns-and-ammo business say if Mr. Obama wins a second term they are preparing for a surge in sales—the same as they saw after he was elected in 2008—from buyers fearful the president would back policies to make buying a gun more difficult. If Republican challenger Mitt Romney wins, though, the chain plans to stock more items such as waterproof boots and camouflage hunting gear.

“If Mitt Romney is elected and there’s no perceived threat on the freedom to own guns, people might decide to spend disposable income on things like outerwear instead,” said Joe Arterburn, a Cabela’s spokesman.

Even though there haven’t been any substantial changes to gun-control laws under Mr. Obama, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. SWHC -2.41% and Olin Corp., OLN +0.52% the maker of Winchester bullets, are anticipating another bump in sales this winter if President Obama is re-elected.

Smith & Wesson raised its full-year sales forecast last week to $530 million to $540 million, up from its previous estimates of $485 million and $505 million, citing strong consumer demand that led to a 30% jump in the number of firearms sold in the first quarter of 2013 compared with the year before.

Enlarge Image
image
image
Catalin Abagiu for The Wall Street Journal

Collectible revolvers are displayed at a Cabela’s store in Dundee, Mich.

Closely-held Bass Pro Shops said it also expects gun sales to ramp up heading into the 2012 election, but declined to disclose sales figures.

Cabela’s saw a 25% increase in new gun buyers right after the 2008 election, and continues to see strong sales, aided by an uptick in female and younger customers, according to Mr. Arterburn.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., WMT -0.85% the largest U.S. seller of firearms and ammunition, declined to comment on its gun sales.

Retailers’ preparations reflect business, not political, concerns, experts say. “Besides making up a large chunk of revenue, guns are a real traffic driver for these stores,” said Wells Fargo analyst Matt Nemer. “Businesses are trying to plan, order inventory and staff stores, and you have this event coming down that could significantly impact sales.”

The stores are responding to shoppers like David Humke, a 43-year-old manager at a bolt and screw company in Louisiana, who recently stopped at a Cabela’s store in Allen, Texas, to browse its selection of collectible guns.

Mr. Humke, an avid deer hunter, worries guns might become less available in the future. “People feel it’s coming so they’re stockpiling,” he said.

Adam Fetcher, a spokesman for the Obama campaign, defended the president’s policies. “President Obama’s record makes clear that he supports and respects the Second Amendment and the tradition of gun ownership in this country, and we’ll continue to fight back against any attempts to mislead voters,” he said.

The Romney campaign declined to comment.

Consumers are responding in part to advertisements from advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association, which warn voters that they could face increased gun regulations if President Obama is re-elected.

In a second term, President Obama wouldn’t have to be worry about being re-elected so “there’s no political downfall if Obama enacts more stringent gun-control measures,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam.

Nearly 12 million background checks for gun sales took place in the U.S. this year through Aug. 31, up 56% from the same period in 2008, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Customers must undergo background checks before buying firearms from federally licensed sellers.

Collections of federal excise taxes on the sale of new firearms and ammunition, a proxy for gun sales, rose to $453 million in 2009, a 45% jump from the year before. That’s a significant surge compared with the average 6% annual increase reported by the Treasury Department’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau from 1993 to 2008. Excise tax collections have moderated somewhat, to $344 million in 2011, but remain above pre-2008 levels.

As demand has risen, supply hasn’t kept up. Manufacturers are experiencing backlogs, even as they raise prices and report record profits.

Citing the political impact of the election, Olin said its June backlog doubled compared with the year before. The company has said it plans to raise ammunition prices by 2% to 6%.

Many suppliers of guns and ammo have been concerned that increased demand may not last and so have been hesitant to invest in additional manufacturing capacity, leaving retailers worried about adequate supplies.

Cabela’s, which generates about a fifth of its $2.8 billion in revenue from firearms and ammunition, is offering to pay suppliers more quickly, 15 days in some cases, in hopes of becoming a favored destination for the limited inventory. It can take some retailers up to 120 days to pay gun and ammo manufacturers.

“This way, vendors know exactly what we’re expecting from them and we know they’re going to deliver reliably,” said Fred Neal, senior director of merchandising for firearms.

Appeared Here


Nutcase Grand Island Nebraska School District Officals Want Deaf Preschooler To Change His Sign Language Name Because It Violates School Weapons Policy

August 28, 2012

GRAND ISLAND, NEBRASKA – A Nebraska school district asked a deaf preschooler to change his sign language name because they believe the hand motion he used looked like he was shooting a gun.

The family of 3-year-old Hunter Spanjer said that their deaf son’s sign gesture violates the Grand Island Public Schools weapons policy.

“He’s deaf, and his name sign, they say, is a violation of their weapons policy,” Brian Spanjer, Hunter’s father, told Nebraska based news channel KOLN. “It’s a symbol. It’s an actual sign, a registered sign, through (Signing Exact English).”

He also started a Facebook page in an effort to support his son’s sign name, which has garnered nearly 1,000 supporters as of Tuesday afternoon.

The Grand Island school district is hoping to come to a solution to the sign gesture soon.

“We are working with the parents to come to the best solution we can for the child,” Jack Sheard, Grand Island Public Schools spokesperson, told KOLN.

The ACLU is backing the Spanjer family, asking the school district to reconsider making Hunter change his sign gesture.

Appeared Here


EPA Using Airborne Drones To Spy On Farmers In Nebraska And Iowa

June 4, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency is using aerial drones to spy on farmers in Nebraska and Iowa. The surveillance came under scrutiny last week when Nebraska’s congressional delegation sent a joint letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.

On Friday, EPA officialdom in “Region 7” responded to the letter.

“Courts, including the Supreme Court, have found similar types of flights to be legal (for example to take aerial photographs of a chemical manufacturing facility) and EPA would use such flights in appropriate instances to protect people and the environment from violations of the Clean Water Act,” the agency said in response to the letter.

“They are just way on the outer limits of any authority they’ve been granted,” said Mike Johanns, a Republican senator from Nebraska.

In fact, the EPA has absolutely zero authority and is an unconstitutional entity of an ever-expanding and rogue federal government. Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution does not authorize Congress to legislate in the area of the environment. Under the Tenth Amendment, this authority is granted to the states and their legislatures, not the federal government.

The EPA has not addressed the constitutional question, including its wanton violation of probable cause under the Fourth Amendment. It merely states that it has authority to surveil the private property of farmers and ranchers. It defends its encroaching behavior as “cost-efficient.”

Appeared Here


Veteran Hastings Nebraska Police Captain Gene Boner Crashed Truck Towing Trailer With Riding Lawnmower While Drunk Driving

September 15, 2011

HASTINGS, NEBRASKA – A Hastings police captain has been arrested for driving under the influence after a Sunday accident.

Capt. Gene Boner was driving eastbound on 12th Street between Adams Central Avenue and Highland Road in Hastings at about 7:45 p.m. Sunday when he lost control of his vehicle, said Hastings Police Chief Larry Thoren.

Thoren said Boner was driving a pickup towing a trailer with a riding lawn mower when something malfunctioned on the trailer, causing the pickup to roll. He was not injured.

Hastings police investigated the accident and called for the Nebraska State Patrol to handle the DUI investigation because of an “obvious conflict of interest,” said NSP Capt. Chris Kolb.

Kolb said the investigation continues, but the preliminary breath test indicated enough probable cause to arrest Boner. Kolb said the blood alcohol content results are not yet back.

Thoren said Boner is on administrative leave pending an internal investigation for violation of administration policy.

“No violation of the law” is the policy that was violated, Thoren said.

“The DUI will go through the court system and we will do our own administrative review for the administrative violation,” Thoren said. The Adams County attorney’s office said it does not have a report on the incident.

Boner has been with the Hastings Police Department for 22 years, 10 of those years as captain. He is captain of administration services, which oversees the 911 center and related services.

Appeared Here


Lancaster County Nebraska Judge Paul Merritt Threatens Rape Victim With Jail If She Won’t Testify

April 7, 2011

OMAHA, NEBRASKA –  A Nebraska judge’s unusual decision to threaten an alleged sexual assault victim with jail if she doesn’t testify could backfire and discourage other women from reporting they were raped, victim advocates said Thursday.

The 24-year-old Kansas woman is appealing the contempt order, saying that testifying about the sexual abuse she endured as a child would cause her deep humiliation. But Lancaster County District Judge Paul Merritt wrote in his ruling that the charges against her alleged attacker hinge on her testimony.
Read the rest of this entry »


Omaha Nebraska Police Officer Brian Miller Tried To Kill Shoplifter At Mall

August 29, 2010

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – An Omaha, Neb., police officer opens fire trying to stop a shoplifting at a mall, hitting one of the suspects as she drove away.

Appeared Here


Douglas County Nebraska’s Top Crime Scene Investigator David Kofoed Convicted After Planting Bogus Evidence

March 23, 2010

PLATTSMOUTH, NE – A judge on Tuesday convicted a top crime scene investigator of evidence
tampering, after prosecutors argued that the investigator planted blood
from a slaying victim in a car linked to two innocent suspects to
bolster the case against them.

Cass County District Judge Randall Rehmeier said he didn’t believe
Douglas County CSI director David Kofoed’s excuse that the victim’s
blood ended up in the car because of a sloppy mistake. Rehmeier said
there was enough evidence to show that Kofoed intentionally planted fake
evidence.

The verdict drew gasps from those in the courtroom, mostly Kofoed’s
fellow investigators and other supporters. Kofoed left the courtroom
immediately following the announcement.

Kofoed, 53, faces up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine at his
May sentencing hearing. He remains free on bond.

While investigating the 2006 shooting deaths of Wayne and Sharmon Stock,
of Murdock, Kofoed said he found a speck of blood from one of the
victims in a car linked to their nephew Matthew Livers and his cousin,
Nicholas Sampson. That was the only physical evidence tying Sampson and
Livers to the slayings.

Livers initially confessed to the killings but quickly recanted. His
attorney has said the confession was coerced. Prosecutors said Kofoed
searched the car and reported finding a speck of Wayne Stock’s blood
after Livers took back his confession.

Kofoed did not file an official report on the blood sample until May 8,
2006. He indicated the evidence was collected that day, but has since
admitted it was done 11 days earlier. Kofoed has said distractions led
to the dating error.

Prosecutors argued at Kofoed’s trial that he intentionally planted the
blood evidence to bolster the case against Sampson and Livers, who were
jailed for several months on murder charges before they were exonerated.

Kofoed argued that accidental cross-contamination was to blame for his
finding.

Investigators linked a stolen ring found at the crime scene to Jessica
Reid and Gregory Fester, both of Horicon, Wis. They pleaded guilty to
second-degree murder and other charges in the Stocks’ deaths and are
serving life prison sentences.

In explaining his reasoning before announcing his decision, Rehmeier
said the Stock investigation had significant similarities to another
case Kofoed probed in 2003 following the disappearance and presumed
death of a Plattsmouth boy.

The body of 4-year-old Brendan Gonzalez was never found, but his father,
Ivan Henk, confessed to murdering his son and dumping his body in a
trash bin. Kofoed said he found traces of the boy’s blood in the trash
bin, corroborating Henk’s confession. Henk was convicted and is serving
life in prison.

In both cases, law enforcement had honed in on suspects, there was a
confession and pressure on investigators to corroborate it, and Kofoed
had access to DNA evidence.

After Kofoed was charged last year, Henk sought to have his conviction
thrown out on the argument that the chief investigator tampered with
evidence in his case. But a judge ruled in October that Henk wasn’t due
post-conviction relief and said Henk inaccurately described Kofoed’s DNA
finding as critical in the case. Henk’s appeal on the ruling is
pending.

Prosecutors were allowed to present evidence from the 2003 case in
Kofoed’s trial as they sought to prove his actions while investigating
the Stocks’ slayings were intentional.

Special prosecutor Clarence Mock said he doesn’t take pleasure in
Tuesday’s verdict, but he called it vindication for the overwhelming
majority of law enforcement officials who conduct their work truthfully
and with integrity.

Mock also said it serves as a lesson for law enforcement officials who
think they can cheat or manufacture evidence.

“You might be able to get away with it once or maybe twice or maybe
more, but ultimately, the truth will out, as it did in this particular
case,” he said.

Kofoed’s attorney, Steve Lefler, said he feels terrible about not opting
for a jury trial and he regrets now having Kofoed testify during the
trial. The verdict could have gone the other way, but it didn’t and now
it’s time to move forward, said Lefler who anticipates filing an appeal.

“With all due respect to a judge I greatly respect, I think he could
have gone through a very detailed list to show why he’s not guilty,”
Lefler said.

Lefler said he doesn’t fault the judge’s analysis of the case, but said
that, “If you think that he’s innocent, which you’re supposed to do, you
could have answered all those points.”

A federal jury acquitted Kofoed last year in a related case. In that, he
had been charged with falsifying records, mail fraud and depriving
Livers and Sampson of their civil rights.

Livers and Sampson have lawsuits pending alleging that Kofoed and other
investigators violated their civil rights.

Appeared Here