Local lawmakers, gun dealers react to Obama's gun violence plan
LITTLE ROCK (KATV) —
President Obama unveiled 23 separate executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence in America.
The proposals include: reinstating the ban on military style assault rifles and limiting ammunition magazines to no more than ten rounds, background checks on all gun sales, whether in-store or at auctions and conventions.
Also included are funds for mental health care and more support for school security.
The proposals were compiled by a task force, led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Local gun shop owners are reacting to the impact a possible ban on certain weapons could have on their bottom line, as well as the misconceptions surrounding the assault style weapons in question.
Mark Carter, owner of World Wide Weapons in Bryant, said many are variations of the AR-15 assault rifle.
Carter said the AR-style weapons are already in high demand, which he said can double the price. World Wide Weapons specializes in assault rifles so Carter said he would lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales if this proposal passes.
"Obviously looks scary," Carter said of the AR-15. "[People] see them on T.V. and they think they're fully automatic; you pull the trigger and it just fires a bunch at once, and that's really not the case. It's really just as quick as you can pull the trigger like any hunting rifle."
The AR-15 is semiautomatic, which means it fires one bullet per squeeze of the trigger.
Bullets that Carter showed are smaller than the typical hunting rifle bullet.
Local lawmakers are also weighing in on the debate.
Congressman Rick Crawford reiterating his strong support for the 2nd amendment rights of law-abiding citizens after hearing President Obama's proposal for gun policy:"As the father of young children, nothing is more important to me than their safety. We need a comprehensive approach to keep our schools and communities safe from acts of violence. By enforcing current laws, like prohibiting convicted felons and people with mental illnesses from owning guns, we can prevent future tragedies. We must also change how our society identifies and treats people with mental illnesses. "President Obama's announcement today to unilaterally impose 23 executive orders is not the best way to make our communities safer. We need a collaborative effort from all Americans. When I was sworn in to represent Arkansas's First Congressional District in the House of Representatives, I took an oath to uphold the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. I will not support laws that would infringe on law-abiding citizens' constitutional right to own a firearm. The Second Amendment guarantees this right and protects it against infringement."
Congressmen Tim Griffin said:"Like most Arkansans, I'm concerned about our nation's treatment of mental illness, our increasingly crude and violent culture, and a criminal justice system that allows repeat offenders to roam the streets. While some of President Obama's proposals address these issues, his focus on restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens with tried-and-failed, anti-Second Amendment policies is poll-tested but counterproductive. I am the father of two young children, and I am interested in solutions to curb the violence that plagues America, but I'm not interested in feel-good legislation that leaves our children no safer and Americans less free. The so-called 'Assault Weapons Ban' did not stop the Columbine tragedy, and no gun control proposal I've seen could have made the deranged Connecticut murderer obey the law when he stole firearms and committed his unspeakable rampage."
Congressman Steve Womack issued this reaction:"As President Obama said today, there is no set of laws - nor a piece of legislation - that will prevent every tragedy. Limiting Second Amendment rights for law-abiding citizens is not the appropriate reaction to senseless acts of violence. Congress - rather than the President through Executive Orders - should instead look for ways to protect the people that are in keeping with our constitutional rights."
Senator John Boozman said:"President Obama's statements today touched on some areas of common ground, but ultimately his plans rely too strongly on the failed gun-control ideas of the past. While he is likely to find a broad base of support for some of his mental health directives and for providing incentives to hire school resource officers, his push for Congress to bring back the assault weapons ban and to limit ammunition is misguided. New laws are not the answer. Stricter enforcement of the laws on the books is where we need to start. There is plenty of evidence, both in our country and elsewhere, that proves simply disarming law abiding citizens does not help reduce violent crime. Firearms are the tools, not the cause. If we are serious about reducing gun crimes, we need to get to the root cause which includes addressing mental health issues in our country. That is where we need to focus on finding a solution."
Channel 7 also reached out to Senator Mark Pryor and Congressman Tom Cotton but have not heard back.