Obama has supported renewing the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban, which stops the manufacture of several semiautomatic guns with large magazines.
"Such weapons belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets," Obama's Web site states.
Local gun dealers quickly are running out of stock of magazines for Colt AR-15s and AK models and many have seen a sharp increase in the sales of those guns.
"Pretty much anything with more than 10 rounds is in high demand right now," said Michael Martin, a sales representative at Impact Guns in Salt Lake City. "We had one supplier go from 92 assault rifles to 12 in one day. Our suppliers are just frantically scrambling."
Customers at Fuzzy Bunny Movie Guns have expressed their worries about a renewed gun ban on the store's online message boards, and the past 10 days have brought major jumps in sales.
"For customers out there thinking about getting one of these guns, don't think," said James Bunten, president of FBMG, who has had to order stock much further in advance to guarantee his store's stock. "At least put money down on it now to get a place in very long line."
While many avid gun owners now are buying $3,000 worth of guns, accessories and spare parts instead of the more typical $1,000, they aren't the only ones stocking up, according to Bunten. He has seen a big increase in people wanting to learn how to use the large assault rifles by signing up for classes at the store.
"I've seen a wider demographic of customers. There are more and more professionals. I see doctors getting assault weapons instead of just their hunting rifles," Bunten said.
Charles Hardy, Gun Owners of Utah policy director, said he has seen the same trend in the past week, as polling showed Obama increasingly likely to win the White House.
Obama has said he is a supporter of Second Amendment rights, "while keeping guns away from children and from criminals who shouldn't have them," his Web site states.
But Hardy says Obama's support of an assault-weapons ban goes against gun rights and is spurring sales.
"You don't really appreciate something until you lose it," Hardy said. "People who have been casually interested before now have the sense that 'If I don't have [an assault rifle] in my closet, I won't be able to get one.' "
That attitude makes Gary Sackett, a member of the board of directors of the Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, nervous.
"It's always a concern when there are more lethal weapons out in the hands of people where such lethal weapons have no function in society, even for self-defense," Sackett said. "An assault rifle is not an appropriate weapon and is more likely to cause an accidental death or severe injury."
He hopes with Obama in office and a Democratic majority in both houses, new gun legislation will surface soon.
The 1994 federal Assault Weapons Ban mandated that all U.S. gun manufacturers stop making semiautomatic assault weapons and ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds, except for military or police use. The ban was allowed to sunset 10 years later under President George W. Bush and a Republican House and Senate.
But it's the reality of that ban that has triggered gun owners to grab up assault rifles, Hardy said.
"Now that we will have someone who is openly hostile to the right to keep and bear arms in the White House, gun owners and those who hope to one day own guns have woken up and they are nervous," said Hardy.