Guns and ammunition are flying off the shelves at area gun shops all throughout the county in light of recent remarks by President Barack Obama on Wednesday.
“I have a few used Glocks left, but I am completely sold out of new ones and can’t get any more in. … Same with [assault rifles], ammo and magazines,” Dwight Walker, owner of All About Guns in Lewisville, said Saturday. “This announcement has been a huge boom to the industry.”
On Wednesday, Obama unveiled proposals for curbing gun violence, pressing Congress to pass legislation for universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.
The $500 million gun package also included 23 executive orders put in place that don’t require the backing of lawmakers, including ordering federal agencies to make more data available for background checks.
Denton Police Chief Lee Howell said that while more extensive information available from background checks could be helpful, he would not look for any of the proposed measures to have any effect on reducing crime in Denton.
“We have had very few incidents involving semiautomatic weapons, commonly known as assault weapons,” Howell said.
Obama started actively approaching these measures after a man gunned down 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school last month.
Bill Kruger, a longtime Shady Shores resident, said the effort should be to identify the mentally ill to prevent them from owning guns.
“A well-thought-out, common-sense plan is needed when making laws, not political, emotional quick fixes,” Kruger said.
People determined to harm others would find a way to do so, whether they are allowed to own a gun or not, he said.
George Nassar, president of the Denton County Young Democrats, said there are loopholes in the system that need to be addressed.
“Loopholes in the background-check process are simply ways to circumvent the law, and we’re glad to see President Obama close some of these, as well as increase access to mental health services that can make tragedies like those we’ve seen so many of recently less common,” Nassar said.
Angela Cox, former president and founder of the Johnson County Tea Party, is a new Denton County resident and is ecstatic to become a member of the county Republican Party so she can assist the party in being a “powerhouse” for conservatism.
“President Obama signing 23 new gun regulations by executive order has nothing to do with increasing safety for the American people,” Cox said. “It is a power grab by the president of the United States — a clear violation of the Second Amendment per the U.S. Constitution — to regulate and disarm the American people should the need ever arise for the people to protect and defend themselves against an out-of-control, tyrannical government.”
Walker, who is a former Lewisville and Grapevine police officer, said the background checks proposed are common already.
“Yes, there are people who can sell them without [a background check] if you are buying just from one person to another, but generally everywhere you are licensed to sell guns, you are required to have a FFL [federal firearms license], and as a dealer you do have the ultimate say-so,” he said.
A federal firearms license is required for dealing in, manufacturing or importing firearms.
Walker said only one time in his six years in business has he had to refuse the sale of a gun.
“He was drunk and I just didn’t feel like selling him a gun,” Walker said. “You might pass a background check, but when you see the person, you get a feel sometimes of what they might be and what they are saying about the purchase.”
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Lewisville, stated that the House will closely review what the president has proposed and respond accordingly, acknowledging that the Second Amendment is one of Americans’ most important individual rights and protected from government intrusion and overreach by the Bill of Rights.
While the majority of the proposals are up to lawmakers, John Turner-McClelland, vice president of the Stonewall Democrats of Denton County, said the executive orders are just common-sense items that should already have been put in place.
“However, I do not think those orders will address the main problem, which is a pervasive culture of violence and fear, as well as a culture that doesn’t address its mental health issues properly,” McClelland said.
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.