As gun control laws move through the legislative process in Washington, locally a gun show visited the Eastwood Mall Expo Center on Sunday.
It’s an opportunity for gun enthusiasts to buy, sell and trade firearms, as many have concerns with lawmakers who are working to pass new laws.
There was a high turnout at the Expo Center, giving those in attendance the chance to browse thousands of guns and military items up for grabs. However, news crews were not allowed inside the center.
“I just come out to see if there was any reasonable price on ammo,” said attendee John Adams.
Adams enjoys target shooting. He grew up with guns and feels lawmakers are targeting the wrong people when it comes to legislation pending on Capitol Hill.
“My opinion is that you can’t regulate crazy people,” said Adams. “You can pass all the laws you want, you’re not going to regulate crazy people.”
This past week, Senators voted to start debate on gun control, a controversial issue, magnified by the Sandy Hook school shooting just four months ago in Connecticut.
In that shooting, a gunman killed 20 first-graders and six adults. Ben Wheeler was one of those students.
“We have to convince the Senate to come together and pass common sense gun responsibility reforms that will make our communities safer and prevent more tragedies like the one we never thought would happen to us,” said Ben’s mother, Francie Wheeler.
A bi-partisan proposal would expand federal background checks, requiring them for people buying firearms at gun shows and online.
Paul Mikula of Hubbard, who is a certified NRA instructor, said it’s not smart law.
“No, because bad guys get guns,” said Mikula. “You can have all the laws in the world, all these laws you’re making is for me and you and we’re good guys. We don’t go out and shoot people. We don’t go out and kill people.”
Mikula also said he feels more could be accomplished using resources already in place.
“They’re going to have to work on the mental health, absolutely,” said Mikula. “They’re going to have to work on the Penal System, and you have to refine the laws you have.”
Better mental health screenings and reporting to the background database is another topic lawmakers will debate. Even though polling shows a majority of Americans supporting a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines, that won’t be part of the Senate’s overall gun control plan.
If anything is to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, many analysts believe it faces an up-hill battle in the Republican-controlled House.
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