Local lawmakers, gun owners react to president's push for stricter gun laws
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Today's recommendations out of Washington are sparking strong reactions on both sides of the gun control debate.
Here in Southern Arizona, it's no exception.
Local gun rights activists tell 9OYS the president's plan, sums up some of their worst fears, which have been building over these last few months.
This as one local lawmaker calls today's announement a sizeable step in the right direction.
Democratic congressman Ron Barber calls himself, point blank, a 2nd amendment supporter.
"I believe without question, that the 2nd amendment allows people to have arms, have guns," he said.
But that doesn't mean he's turning a blind eye to, what he says, is a major misconception: that the right to bear arms, applies to any and all firearms, even military style weapons.
"That kind of firepower, I think we have to do something about, and I think there's a lot of support in the country and perhaps in Congress for that as well," said Barber.
It's a point that sums up just one part of the president's sweeping push for stricter gun laws.
Ken Rineer, president of Gun Owners of Arizona, argues that point plays on misconstrued fears about gun violence.
"The semi automatic rifle is rarely used, however when they are used it becomes a very public and heavily reported event," he said.
And when it comes to capping off the size of ammunition magazines at ten rounds, Barber points to personal experience, and the weapons used on January 8th.
"That glock had a 30 round magazine with one in the chamber and he shot 31 bullets in less than 45 seconds," he said.
Rineer points to personal safety.
"In Arizona we have to deal with home invasions," he said. "What if you have multiple assailants? Do you want to be restricted to a revolver with a five cartridge capacity?"
Finally, to the president's push for across the board background checks for all gun purchases.
To which gun owners say simply, "None of your business."
"I don't believe that we should have to take that to a federal firearms license dealer to finish that transaction and be charged a $20 or $25 tax," said Rineer.
One issue Barber and Rineer agreed on is the president's call for better mental health-care.
That plan includes making access to mental health services an equal priority with those of traditional health services.