Guns in play? Some law enforcement support expanded checks, others do not

Published 9:03 am Wednesday, January 6, 2016

EXERCISING AMENDMENT RIGHTS: Residents Steven and Denise McCraney visit Davis Sports and Outdoors to test firearms. File photo.

EXERCISING AMENDMENT RIGHTS: Residents Steven and Denise McCraney visit Davis Sports and Outdoors to test firearms. File photo.

Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced plans to clarify gun legislation by requiring almost everyone who sells guns for a living to register as a gun seller. This will expand background checks to most purchasers.

Picayune Police Chief Bryan Dawsey agreed with administering background checks on all purchases.

“I do believe that there should be a background check on all persons purchasing firearms and as long as you meet all the requirements and successfully pass a background check, you should be allowed to own a firearm under the Second Amendment,” Dawsey said.

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Pearl River County Sheriff David Allison said gun control is an executive overreach.

“Gun control is going to limit and take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens and criminals are going to find those guns,” Allison said.

According to the Associated Press, Obama addressed the nation Tuesday about the executive actions that would be implemented to prevent gun violence, including requiring gun sellers to run background checks, employing more FBI staff to run background checks and improving access to mental healthcare and gun safety technology.

Adam Bowers, owner of Richies Pawn and Gun in Picayune, said when customers come into his shop to purchase a gun, they must complete a background check, provide current state-issued identification and fill out the federal form.

Under current federal law, only federally licensed gun dealers must conduct background checks. Gun dealers at gun shows, websites and flea markets, often skip the requirements by not registering as a licensed dealer. However, officials said new proposed changes to the law would require all gun dealers to register, according to the AP.

“Gun control opens the door to taking more rights away from law-abiding citizens. I think the government should focus more on enforcing the current laws already written. If we continue to make new laws without enforcing the old laws, it’s not going to do anyone any good,” Bowers said.

More comprehensive gun control cannot happen without congressional approval because that approval is required to change laws. According to the AP, Obama said in his speech, “It won’t happen overnight. It won’t happen during this Congress. It won’t happen during my presidency…a lot of thing don’t happen overnight.”