Local gun salesmen up in arms after President offers gun - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Local gun salesmen up in arms after President proposes gun violence solutions

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AR 15 AR 15
AK 47, among other guns AK 47, among other guns
High-capacity ammunition magazine High-capacity ammunition magazine

In a few months, Illinois should have some kind of concealed carry law in the books. But nationally, gun-owners might soon be told what kind of weapons they can own. On Wednesday, President Obama proposed his ideas, supporters say, will reduce violence and protect children.

In a speech Wednesday, President Obama said, "This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe. This is how we will be judged. And their voices should compel us to change."

That includes a ban on military-style assault weapons and that's actually keeping local gun sellers busy.

"Gun guys are in a panic buying mode." -says Forest City Firearms Owner Eric Sonnenberg.

As for federally-defined military-style assault weapons, like AK 47's and AR 15's, "I'll get something in and the next day it's gone." -says KAP Guns Owner Kenny Polhamus.

Our nation's top leader says these firearms need to be gone for good along with high-capacity ammunition magazines. Sonnenberg says that's not the answer.

"You need to have equal or greater fire-power than your opponent or you will be sorely out-gunned."

Plus, President Obama urges legislators to require universal background checks, all to curb gun violence.

"If there's even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try." -the President said Wednesday.

Polhamus and Sonnenberg think the Obama administration is missing the issue.

"Criminals don't care about the laws. The thing is, is if a guy wants to go buy a gun and he gets denied because of a stricter background check, he's still going to get a gun." -says Polhamus.

But the questions remains; why are people buying these weapons if they could become illegal to own? The last time these weapons were banned, during the Clinton administration, lawmakers included a Grandfather Clause stating if you purchased a gun before it became illegal, you get to keep it.

"If they bring back a new assault weapons' ban, there is no guarantee that there will be a Grandfather Clause attached to it and if there's not, the federal government is going to expect you to turn those weapons in, which is not going to happen."

Business might not stay good for long. If a ban becomes law, Sonnenberg says he could lose 60 to 70% of the guns he sells. Depending on the definition of assault weapon, Polhamus might only have a few firearms left in stock.

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