Colorado shoot restarts gun control debate

Kris Johnson

In the wake of a shooting at a Colorado theater the debate over gun control in the United States has gained new life.

“The guns are out there, not much can be done,” said Ron Garrett, owner of GI Guns and Ammo in Rogers.

In the state of Arkansas no further registration or background checks are need beyond the department of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms require, Don Townsend, Benton County Chief Deputy said.

According to Arkansas State Police website, a concealed handgun permit is needed to carry a firearm.

The process includes filling out a packet, aping a free, and having a fingerprint card made. The whole process takes around 4-6 weeks to process, according to the state police.

Age restrictions are also part of gun purchasing law in Arkansas. A person has to be 18 to purchase a rifle and 21 to purchase a handgun.

In a 2009 letter to US Attorney Eric Holder, Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said that .he disagreed with the idea of reinstating the ban on assault weapons.

The current laws are sufficient and no more are needed, McDaniel said.  The ban was instituted in 1994 and did not extend to machineguns. Machine gun ownership was regulated under the National Firearms Act in 1934.

The most often sold weapons in the area include shotguns, rifles and various handguns, Townsend said.

Because of the amount of hunting in Arkansas, many people support gun rights and support the National Rifle Association, Townsend said.  There is no need for further gun laws if the current laws are enforced, Townsend said.  Areas that have increased gun controls often have higher firearm related homicides.

“We have seen an increase in gun sales since the shooting. However, sales have increased all year because it is an election year,” Garrett said.  Increased background checks would help the problem but banning guns is not a solution, he said.

“If one person had been able to have a concealed gun on them, they could have stopped the shooter before he killed so many people,” Garrett said.

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