Local gun store owners weigh in on background check compromise
5:23 PM, Apr 10, 2013
6:38 PM, Apr 10, 2013
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - A bipartisan deal could expand background checks to more gun buyers.
Thursday's scheduled vote on gun control has people across the metro talking. Those on opposite sides agree on parts of the new compromise.
The proposal in Washington DC would extend background checks to gun shows and online sales. If approved, sales between individuals at the shows would end.
Under current law, only those who buy guns from a dealer go through a background check.
The manager at UT Guns in Kansas City, Kan., likes the idea.
"This is making sure people that own (a gun), should own it," Gary Jessup said.
But he added that expanding criminal background checks is not gun control.
"You can't police someone who doesn't care," Jessup said. "The law-abiding citizen will do what they tell us ... but if I'm a criminal, guess what? I don't care."
If lawmakers approve the proposal on Thursday, it would be more difficult for known lawbreakers and those with mental health issues to get guns.
Those are two issues the director of the Kansas City Health Department, Rex Archer, told city council members are real problems for Kansas City.
"I don't think there's any question that a lot of our suicides and homicides are from people who have depression and who are not getting treated," Archer said.
Some conservatives hope to block the measure.
President Barack Obama hoped for universal background checks, but that was overwhelmingly denied. That means the compromise proposal still allows private sales outside of gun shows.
The National Rifle Association weighed in, saying a broken mental health system will not be fixed with more background checks -- in fact, no background would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson.
The Senate is set to take an initial vote on the proposal Thursday.