Membership in New Hampshire gun clubs is surging, according to the New Hampshire Union Leader, and has increased so rapidly of late that many of them cannot keep up with demand. A member of one club’s board of directors is even calling President Obama “the best gun salesman there ever was”:
When Scott Jenkins began his first stint as president of the Chester Rod and Gun Club four years ago, his goal was to boost the number of members to 500. Fast forward to 2013, and Jenkins is learning to be careful what he wishes for.
Like other shooting ranges across the state, the Chester club has seen a jump in members over the past few months. In response, for the first time since it was founded in 1932, the group’s board of directors has instituted a monthly membership cap, citing increased demand on club personnel as well as safety concerns. . . .
According to Bill Hovanasian, a member of the club’s board of directors, over the past year, membership has grown by 40 percent.
“Everything here is geared toward safety, which is another reason why you want to limit the numbers,” said Hovanasian. “Once you get too many people, things can get out of hand. When I joined, there were 300 to 400 members. Now we’re up over 1,300. We were seeing about 70 people a month earlier this winter looking to join.” There is a waiting list.
According to Jenkins, many of the new members are relatively inexperienced and in need of instruction and training. They have “bought a gun because they want to learn to hunt or to protect themselves or their families.”
“People want to learn how to use their guns, get used to them,” Hovanasian said. “It’ll die down, but for now Mr. Obama has probably been the best gun salesman there ever was.”
The editors of the Union Leader today, pointing to the gun clubs’ surging membership, argue that “the most effective method of increasing gun ownership is for the government to suggest that access to guns is about to be restricted.”