Madison
15° F
Overcast
Overcast
Advertisement

President's gun proposals stir debate

Published On: Jan 30 2013 03:10:59 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 16 2013 09:44:33 PM CST
MILTON, Wis. -

President Obama's proposals for curbing gun violence are prompting some strong emotions from people on both sides of the debate.

The president on Wednesday announced a $500 million package of executive actions and legislative proposals, including a call to ban military-style assault weapons.

Reno Garthwaite, owner of Thunder Shooting Supplies in Milton, said versatility is one of the reasons some gun enthusiasts like the AR-style rifle.

"You can change it to a 22 all the way up to a 450," Garthwaite said.

He said that since the election, business is up 100 percent. Many customers are looking for AR-style rifles similar to what was used in the Connecticut school shooting.

"For coyote hunters, they love this gun," Garthwaite said. "Vermin hunters that go out in the spring prairie dog shooting out west, they love this gun. It's the No. 1 gun they take."

He said his store is struggling to keep up with the demand for the AR-style rifles and high-capacity handguns. Garthwaite said banning one type of weapon isn't going to help.

"(AR-style rifles), they've got this military look and that scares people. But there are other rifles that do the same thing with a lot more power," he said.

Garthwaite said he also recommends his customers purchase a safe so they have a place to keep their firearm.

The Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence said it's concerned about guns getting into the wrong hands.

"Assault weapons are rarely used in domestic-violence homicides. More typically, it's a handgun or a rifle," said Patti Seger, executive director of the Wisconsin Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

The group has been tracking domestic-violence homicides since 1999.

"We have found that there were 50 people who have been killed in Wisconsin where the killer was prohibited from possessing a firearm," Seger said. "Those killings were preventable and the loopholes in the system failed to protect those victims."

Seger and Garthwaite said they support universal background checks.

They're hoping lawmakers are able to strike the right balance to curb crime and allow law-abiding citizens to exercise their right to own a firearm.

"Calm down, take a serious look at this stuff rather than rushing to judgment on this," Garthwaite said.

"We have an opportunity here to say, 'Enough with the killing; enough with the loss of life.' Those lives are too valuable," Seger said.

Some of the president's proposals are related to recent shootings in Wisconsin. Seger was one of many people invited to the White House to talk to leaders. In addition to the shootings in Newtown, Conn., she said the Oak Creek Sikh temple shooting and Brookfield spa shooting helped inspire some of the president's plans.

Advertisement
  • Mil debate media gallery main

    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    Clinton, Sanders face off in Milwaukee debate

    Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton participate in the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidate debate at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in Milwaukee. The debate is the final debate before the Nevada caucuses scheduled for Feb. 20.

  • Wildlife refuge

    CNN

    Oregon armed protesters: What to know

    A 41-day occupation at a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon ended Thursday when the four remaining protesters surrendered to authorities. Here is what to you need to know about the group.

  • Titanic II

    Blue Star Line

    Titanic II: A look inside

    The new Titanic II will be practically identical to the original luxury liner, which famously sank in April 1912 after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Here's a look inside the ocean liner, which is slated to sail in 2018.

  • Audrey

    Audrey

    Look Who's 3

    Check out who's turning 3, and send in your photo.

  • Valentine's Day card

    Valentine's Day

    Gift ideas, getting in the mood, popping the question, recipes and ideas for kids, all in our special section dedicated to Valentine's Day.

  • heart--stethoscope--doctor--medical---21654271

    Healthy Heart

    Tips to stay heart healthy, reducing your risk of heart disease, advice and the latest research on heart health.

Advertisement