Obama’s plan strengthens gun control laws

Lauri Hoedl, Reporter

Approximately 283 million guns are owned by civilians in the United States. In 2014, 33,183 people died from gunfire deaths.

Reforms need to be made on gun control, and Obama is taking a strong step in the right direction by proposing a plan to make sure gun laws are followed and to make them stricter.

Regulations have lacked the security and limitations needed for maintaining a safe environment. Average people have been given access to firearms through private deals, people can acquire military level weapons, and the security has become more lax.

A study by USA Today stated that the 10 states with the most gun violence—Alaska, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Montana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Arkansas, Wyoming and New Mexico— do not require a permit to purchase a handgun.

In many states, permits/licenses are not required to purchase a rifle, handgun or shotgun. State laws also do not require licenses for concealed carrying, do not prohibit open carrying, and do not require registration of rifles and guns. Registration is important because it helps track criminals for prosecution and anyone who is no longer legally allowed to own a gun.

Requiring registration of firearms would contribute to a safer environment and help keep guns out of the wrong hands; 60 percent of Americans are in favor of gun registration for each gun of every gun owner. Obama’s new gun control plan proposes to ensure background checks. Previously, anyone who wanted a gun could buy one, whether or not he would pass a background check, through private deals. Statistics from Smart Gun Laws show that 40 percent of gun sales are private.

Some people claim that the laws should not change because nothing drastic enough has happened to require them, but many incidents have occurred.

Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., the gunman at the Jewish Community Center shooting, got hold of his guns illegally by having an acquaintance purchase them. He would not have passed a background check because of a previous arrest.

Bart Budetti, former judge of Broward County Florida and Overland Park City attorney, is a gun owner, yet he believes gun control laws need to be stricter. He said, “The major flaws in the current system are that, unlike gun sales from licensed gun dealers, private persons have been able to sell a gun to another resident of the state they live in with no background check whatsoever.”

In a survey of 25 people conducted by the newspaper, only 56 percent believe there is need to strengthen gun control laws.

Amelia Rouyer, junior, agrees with Obama’s proposal and said, “Everyone who wants to own a gun, must have a background check. No exceptions.”

Lack of regulations have made it too easy for guns to end up in the hands of the wrong person. We should not wait for another incident to tighten the laws, and many politicians are beginning to realize that.

Eliminating guns completely is not a viable option, but with the rising gun-related deaths, action must be taken to prevent violence from occuring.