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Biden’s gun restrictions bring hope to some, skepticism from others

Updated: Apr. 8, 2021 at 9:38 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - President Joe Biden announced new executive actions to address gun violence, which he called a “blemish on the nation,” on Thursday.

It comes as the country reels from recent high-profile mass shootings. The measures include efforts to restrict weapons known as “ghost guns” that can be built using parts and instructions purchased online.

The Biden Administration will also place heavier regulations on stabilizing braces used to make firing a pistol more accurate. One of those braces was used in the March mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado.

The president said repeatedly his new executive actions do nothing to violate Americans’ Second Amendment right to bear arms, though background checks would be required for those buying parts used to make a gun.

The owner of Openrange Gun Range in Louisville, Barry Laws, explained ghost gun kits require the gun to be drilled together, but there is no serial number because the gun is not assembled at the time of purchase.

He explained that as far as pistol-stabilizing braces are concerned, they were originally meant to help disabled shooters be more accurate, but he said a lot of gun owners use them now.

Under the regulations, stabilizing braces would come with a $200 tax and a tougher application process.

Laws admits he doesn’t have the answers but said Biden’s move is another hollow target.

“We have to go after the criminals and not what the criminals use,” he said.

The Crestwood gun retailer said since suicides make up for more than 60% of gun-related deaths, mental illness should instead be the focus as well as people getting more interested in the well-being of one another.

“There’s no sense to it,” he said, “except drama. It’s theatre, and we’re all getting sucked into theatre today.”

Mass shooting survivor Whitney Austin talked recently about her bi-partisan bill and suicide gun deaths. Her bill would temporarily remove firearms from people displaying threatening behavior.

“The overwhelming gun deaths in the state are from suicide,” she said.

Austin agreed the issue is those who are in crisis, but Thursday, she said she was encouraged by the president’s actions. She said in a statement: “The President is taking action to end gun violence by finding common ground--addressing areas that a majority of Americans support. I am especially encouraged to see that there is a plan to focus on state and federal laws that help temporarily remove firearms from those in crisis. Whitney/Strong’s proposed Crisis Aversion and Rights Retention bill, drafted to meet the needs of Kentucky, is a great example of this type of legislation. Today’s actions mark a moment of hope and we will savor this feeling as we continue our bipartisan work to save lives.”

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