Local gun supporters view president's gun control proposal as threat to freedom

Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013 6:12 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 2:12 AM
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President Obama’s proposal to toughen America’s gun laws came as unwelcome news to some patrons at an Augusta gun range on Wednesday afternoon, several who said the move threatens their right to bear arms and won’t solve problems of mass shootings.

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Randy Teasley (right) fires a handgun at a target at Shooters gun shop and indoor range. He said he agreed with President Obama's proposal for stronger background checks.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Randy Teasley (right) fires a handgun at a target at Shooters gun shop and indoor range. He said he agreed with President Obama's proposal for stronger background checks.

“All that’s fine and dan­dy but people that usually do the evil deeds don’t go by what is legal to begin with,” said Randy Teasley, of Augusta, who practiced with a .22-caliber rifle at Shooters indoor range and gun shop off Washington Road.

Gun control measures need to focus on keeping firearms out of the hands of the mentally ill, Teasley said. He agreed with Obama’s proposal for stronger background checks but didn’t think banning high-capacity ammunition magazines or assault rifles was a practical solution.

Russell Creighton, of North Augusta, who also practiced at Shooters, said tighter gun control laws are a threat to a hobby and sport he enjoys.

“If people hurt people with guns, they should be punished,” Creighton said. “I’m not saying take the guns from the law-abiding citizens cause that’s wrong. I haven’t done a thing but come here and shoot.”

Mass shootings won’t stop with a ban on high-capacity magazines, he said. With enough practice, an individual can learn to change magazines quickly and continue a shooting rampage.

The president’s proposal was a good starting point for Bill Wahl, of North Augusta, who thinks gun control needs to be addressed. The proposal has flaws but he agreed with expanded background checks for gun purchases and limits on high-capacity magazines.

“We have an awful lot of laws in existence now and admittedly some of them aren’t working 100 percent,” Wahl said.

Wahl and Teasley said more clear definitions of assault weapons must be established.

Shooters’ owner Buddy Lichty said people rushed to his store and range in the weeks following the Dec. 14 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., fearing tighter gun control would come.

The rush slowed down slightly in recent days only because there is a shortage of products, Lichty said. He is uncertain how the measures, if passed by Congress, will affect future business.

Teasley said the president’s announcement was a political move intended to appease people after the Sandy Hook massacre. A focus on keeping guns away from the mentally ill is long overdue.

“They would have done nothing if it hadn’t been for Newtown,” he said.

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fedex227 01/16/13 - 10:39 pm
'President Obama’s proposal to toughen America’s gun laws ...

came as unwelcome news to some patrons at an Augusta gun range' Why not double down - any change to gun laws in this country should, without question, be sanctioned and approved by unnamed patrons of an 'Augusta gun range.' This must be the point of Ms. Mirshak's article. I agree! Augusta gun range patrons unite!

jkline 01/17/13 - 06:01 am
Gun Laws Actually Increase Violence

This ought to be obvious, but I have not heard anyone mention it yet in the press. It is inescapable. Increased gun laws must necessarily lead to INCREASED violence, as the laws will be enforced with violent means. To quote Ayn Rand, "A government is the most dangerous threat to man’s rights: it holds a legal monopoly on the use of physical force against legally disarmed victims."

ColCo 01/17/13 - 07:56 am
Interesting angle

While appearing innocent on paper, it appears that Obama is seeking opinions from the CDC (allegedly a politically neutral entity) and physicians that gun ownership and gun violence constitutes a national public health threat. Courts across the country could then consider future legal challenges to gun legislation or executive orders differently because the CDC has determined that the public's health and welfare is being threatened by gun ownership and gun violence. It's a very creative way to weaken the second amendment.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

deestafford 01/17/13 - 10:53 am
Expanded Background Checks?

What does mean? Does that mean that I have to have a background check done when I as a private citizen sell a weapon to my brother? To a friend? To a neighbor down the street? And if so, is my knowing the result of that check not a violation of that person's privacy? There is no "gun show loophole". The only thing is if I go to the Armory on Milledge Road and sell my weapon it's the same as if I sell it at my house. Any licienced dealer has to run a check at the gun show just as he does at his store. A private citizen does not. Also, the arguement that we have to register cars and have liciences for them, why should we not do the same for firearms, is specious. Drving and owning a car is a priviledge; whereas, owning a firearm is a right laid out in the Constitution.

ColCo 01/17/13 - 11:30 am
Another new thing

If you have a weapon that you have taken to a store to sell on consignment or have repairs performed, they now are required to run a background check before they can release your gun back to you, the lawful owner.

KSL 01/17/13 - 01:42 pm
Let's say your father owns a

Let's say your father owns a 12 gauge shotgun and a revolver. He dies and the guns are left to you. What then?

ColCo 01/17/13 - 02:49 pm
Estate issue

Good question. If the guns are in a weapons trust and the heir is named as a member of the trust, it should not be an issue. It will depend if willing firearms will be categorized as a true transfer or if it will be considered an exception.

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