Local gun shop says gun control isn't the answer to halting mass - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Local gun shop says gun control isn't the answer to halting mass shootings


Wednesday, President Barack Obama addressed the first steps in his plan to deter mass shootings and gun violence. The remarks come in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting, which rekindled a major debate on the topic.

President Obama said he wants to see action quickly when it comes to potential changes to the nation's gun policy.

"If there is even one thing we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try," he said in a press conference.

The President's statements come one day after Dick's Sporting Goods suspended the sale of some rifles in their stores. But, at a local gun shop in East Texas, people say they don't believe gun control is the answer to the problem.

Lock and Load in Tyler says the national conversation about gun control has their phones ringing off the hook.

"My distributors don't have anything. Manufacturers are running behind trying to meet the demand," says store manager Steven Prater.

Prater says cracking down on gun laws isn't the answer.

"You make it illegal, that doesn't mean it's not there. Marijuana is illegal. Where is it? Everywhere," he says.

Martin Caine moved to Tyler from England, the home of tough gun laws and stringent licensing systems. But Caine says he feels safer in the United States because it's easier to defend himself.

"If somebody wants to go and commit a crime, they're going to do it no matter what. Whether it's with a gun, a knife or a fist," says Caine.

Wednesday, President Obama told the nation he knows we can't prevent every act of violence, but can work to steadily reduce violence.

"That's why I've asked the vice president to lead an effort, that includes members of my cabinet, and outside organizations, to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than January... proposals that I then intend to push without delay," said Obama.

"I think the government moving on this right now is just a play to try to keep a lot of the public happy. They're playing on peoples' emotions instead of actual knowledge and fact," says Prater.

Prater says shootings have been thwarted by armed private individuals, but those stories aren't told as often as the tragedies. He says that's extremely frustrating for many law-abiding gun owners.

Dick's Sporting Goods released this statement regarding gun sales in their stores:

We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community.

Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.

We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy.

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