Oklahomans Critical Of Renewing Assault Weapons Ban

Wednesday, January 16th 2013, 10:03 pm
By: News On 6

For many Oklahomans, one of the most controversial recommendations of President Barack Obama's gun control proposal is renewing the assault weapons ban.

The assault weapons ban started in 1994 and expired in 2004.

Critics say it was ineffective, because it was too easy for gun manufacturers to circumvent the ban by making small changes to the banned models.

The President wants it reinstated to "prevent easy access to instruments of mass violence," but one gun store owner says responsible gun owners aren't the problem.

1/16/2013 Related Story: Oklahoma Lawmakers React To Obama's $500 Million Gun Violence Package

"Ever since Obama opened his mouth about gun control, there's nothing left on the shelves," said James Okey.

Business has never been better at Hunter's Choice in Sapulpa.

"Everyone is buying everything up, because they are scared to death that he's going to take our guns away from us," Okey said.

He said those sales are a direct result of a proposed ban on assault weapons.

"All your high capacity hand guns, your high capacity magazines on any rifle, ARs were the first to go. I've got one left in my store right now," Okey said.

He said his assault rifle distributors are telling him they're nearly 12 months behind on filling orders.

"Semi-automatic weapons shouldn't be against the law. A lot of hunting, fishing, sports guys use their automatic weapon to hunt with," Okey said.

In the President's plan, the assault weapons ban would be reinstated and strengthened so that manufacturers could not make cosmetic changes to guns that would make them legal.

1/16/2013 Related Story: Some Oklahoma Gun Owners Support President's Gun Control Plan

The President also wants to ban magazines that carry more than 10 rounds.

"A criminal is just going to take ten five round magazines. He's still got 50 rounds, no matter how you look at it," Okey said.

Customers think more focus should be on mental health rather than gun control.

"The Aurora shooting and the Sandy Hook shooting, those people had mental problems, and they weren't dealt with and they got access. Yeah, there are some problems and that needs to be dealt with," said customer Mike Copland.

Okey is entirely sold out of bullets for his assault rifles. He expects it to stay that way until Congress votes on a ban.

"The first gun ban didn't work, Columbine happened after the first ban took effect. How many kids were killed there?" Okey said.

The President also wants to make it illegal to own or transfer armor-piercing ammunition. It's already illegal to make and import those bullets.