Gun Owners Brace For Obama's Executive Order

Jan 5, 2016
Originally published on January 5, 2016 1:30 pm
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Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now let's hear about guns from a different perspective - some gun owners themselves. NPR's Eyder Peralta went to a gun shop in Virginia, where sales are up. Guns have been flying off the shelves of late as talk grows louder of new regulations.

EYDER PERALTA, BYLINE: Even on a Monday afternoon, dozens of customers file in and out of SharpShooters Indoor Range and Pro Shop. The gun racks are bare and the manager works hard to keep the magazines full of ammo. Sherry Shoske comes in with her 20-year-old son, who is eager to try out their brand-new .22-caliber Uzi.

SHERRY SHOSKE: So I actually just bought that gun because I thought that he was going to be making changes so I should buy any gun that I want to buy before he makes the changes.

PERALTA: The he she's referring to is President Obama, who is poised to announce a series of executive actions tightening access to guns. As you might expect, even a new hit of new regulations brings heated discussion at this shop. Jason Stevens, who just started shooting recently, says yes, this country has a problem with gun violence. But it's too complex an issue to fix with more regulation.

JASON STEVENS: I guess I don't see any solution. I don't know what to do. If I did, I would be writing to Congress right now instead of standing out here today.

PERALTA: He says now that he's a gun owner, he's come to appreciate military-style weapons like the AR-15. But he says he'd be willing to part with them.

STEVENS: If they were unavailable to me next week, I don't think I'd be too upset about it.

PERALTA: On the other side of the store, Chris Harto says that he didn't have an answer to widespread gun violence either.

CHRIS HARTO: It's easy to say if we didn't have guns, this wouldn't happen. But, you know, the reality is there's, you know, over 300 million guns in this country and they're not going to go away.

PERALTA: Even Shoske, the woman who bought the Uzi, ultimately expressed some nuance on the issue of gun control. She says buyers at gun shows should have to pass a background check. And she's disappointed that Obama and Congress haven't stopped mentally ill people from getting guns.

SHOSKE: Because I feel like you're punishing legal gun owners, and you're not doing anything about the mental health. I don't know why.

PERALTA: She wants a law requiring doctors to flag patients who shouldn't own guns. Eyder Peralta, NPR News, Lorton, Va. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.