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Gun sales, control in the Spencer area

Saturday, January 5, 2013

CNN recently reported that 19.5 million background checks for gun sales were done last year - 2.8 million of those were done in December.

After multiple shootings in the last few months of the year, most notably the Newtown, CT shooting, President Barack Obama spoke out on the nation's gun laws Dec. 19. Obama will submit new gun control proposals to Congress this month, and has asked Vice President Joe Biden to head a task force to come up with new proposals to submit a "very specific" set to congress.

In the Spencer area, so far, there has been a rush to buy firearms and ammunition. Southern Archery - which sells a full range of firearms - has seen an "unbelievably strong" jump in sales according to owner Ted Bruning.

"Demand is greater than supply; we can't get the rifles they [customers] want," Bruning said.

With people not only in the Spencer area buying firearms and ammunition, but all over the country, manufacturers are having trouble keeping up with all of the orders. Handguns are starting to "dry out," according to Bruning.

Bruning saw a rush like this four years ago when President Obama was elected to his first term. People were afraid that the Democratic president would change gun rights.

If new gun laws were to passed that took away the option for civilians to buy certain firearms, Bruning said that there will be a lot of disappointed people because families in the area "enjoy the shooting sports."

"I think a lot of it has to be political," said Clay County Sheriff Randy Krukow. "People are concerned that their Second Amendment rights are in danger. They think certain guns might be banned, like the assault rifles."

While some of the people rushing out to buy firearms and ammunition are worried about tougher laws being passed, Spencer Police Chief Mark Lawson's main concern is the people that shouldn't have guns obtaining them.

"As long as the firearms are in the hands and ownership of adults without mental health issues, I'm not really concerned," Lawson said. "In terms of gun control, I am concerned about the illegal ones."

Chief Lawson doesn't think that new gun laws will be passed, and he is not alone. Senator David Johnson "expects there will be some spirited discussion about the gun control issue" but he has "no expectations of something passing.

"I don't think we need to tinker with any of the laws," Johnson said.

Both Lawson and Johnson believe the bigger issue is the mental health.

"I always get peeved when people blame guns," Lawson said. "A gun is an easy way to commit crimes, but it is the person holding it that I'm concerned about. These gun issues will always come and go. Guns will always be here."

Gun control and mental health are two separate issues, but Sen. Johnson believes the country needs to focus on providing mental health care.

"Our mental health system was fractured before Newtown. It was fractured before Columbine," Johnson said. "The issue is the limited budget given towards mental health."

In 2010 the Clay County Sheriff's office issued around 300 right-to-carry permits for firearms, that last for five years. In 2011, a total of 619 right-to-carry permits were issued and 170 permits to acquire were issued. And in 2012, there were 279 right-to carry-permits issued, 56 of those being issued after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.

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It's nice to read comments like these based on common sense and reality. That is always the best way to find answers to the real problems that exist in our world today. Our second amendment involves respect for ourselves and for everyone else. As long as we don't forget that, we shouldn't have a problem with having guns to protect ourselves and for sport.

-- Posted by trybeinghonest on Sun, Jan 6, 2013, at 10:41 AM

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