Oklahoma Gun Enthusiasts Wary Of Potential Legislation
OKLAHOMA CITY - Gun proponents were on edge ahead of expected recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden's Gun Violence Task Force. Some of the expected recommendations include universal background checks and restrictions on high capacity magazines and assault weapons.
Already, leading gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association (NRA) spoke out against possible bans on guns. Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford reacted to the possibility of a ban on assault weapons Sunday.
"I don't think that has a chance of passing this congress and again it goes back to the same issue. The Columbine shooting happened right in the middle of the assault weapon ban. That doesn't solve the problem," he said.
Gun shops around the state said business had been booming recently because many Oklahomans felt uneasy as they wait to hear about possible restrictions. Lankford and others say the problem is that many people do not actually understand what an assault weapon is.
"Assault rifles are just semi-automatic rifles that fire once every time every time you pull the trigger. It's not a fully automatic weapon," explained Duane Campbell with Heartland Outdoors in Edmond. "It's not just a spray-type operation you see in movies."
He showed off a traditional rifle and explained it could do just as much damage if it were in the hands of the wrong person.
"This is a semi-automatic basically also, in that every time you pull the trigger, you cock it. And another round goes in the chamber."
Lankford thinks the debate needs to focus on people and what makes [mass murderers] snap. Sunday, he said Republicans and Democrats were working on a solution at the Federal level, but added people should be taking up the debate at the state and local level to try and figure out why events like the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. happen.
"Maybe we should talk about violence in movies, maybe we should talk about violent video games and their access, maybe we should talk about mental health issues."
While lawmakers work to find that solution, Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D)-NY, called on major retailers to stop selling assault weapons. Dick's Sporting Goods has agreed to do so.