Jan 16, 2013 8:01 PM by Tony Spehar -

Locals react to President Obama's plan to reduce gun violence

Local reaction was mixed after President Obama addressed the nation on Wednesday laying out his plan to reduce gun violence that includes proposed restrictions on firearms.

President Obama signed 23 executive orders after the address, making immediate changes to background checks, making federal money available to provide school resource officers, opening some medical records for background checks and expanding mental health treatment options among numerous other actions.

"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," Obama said in his address.

Locally the rush to buy guns ahead of new regulations had only subsided a small amount on Wednesday; sales have been through the roof since the December mass shooting at a school in Connecticut. At Paradise Gun Sales in Colorado Springs they were sold out of assault rifles and the wait for background checks was around a week.

"Our sales have quadrupled over the last month-and-a-half," explained Paul Paradis, the store's owner.

Paradis said he was opposed to much of what President Obama proposed, however he was happy to see a national gun education program put in place as well as opening options for schools to have armed guards. His biggest problem with the plan was opening up some medical records to be part of the background check process.

"Turning all our health records to the federal government doesn't make good sense," he reacted.

President Obama also urged congress to reinstate a ban on assault-style weapons, approve universal background checks and outlaw magazines that hold more than 10-bullets. Paradis said with control of Congress split, he didn't believe any of the proposals would be passed.

"On the state level though it's a different story though," he explained. "We've got a very liberal house, governor and senate."

There are several new gun laws set the go before legislators in Denver; some would add more restrictions and others would loosen regulations.

Reaction to President Obama's proposals varied in El Paso County. There are many who expressed opposition to any new gun laws, but also quite a few who support some new restrictions.

"You shouldn't be able to have 30, 60, 90-rounds on your person," said Jim Womack of Manitou Springs.

Nationally gun advocacy groups like the National Rifle Association vowed to fight President Obama's plan.



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