President confident of gun background checks - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

President confident of gun background checks

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

President Barack Obama made his first campaign-style speech in Minnesota on Monday on the top topic of gun control.
But the tone of the conversation may be changing.

Better mental health evaluations and background checks are facets of the problem getting more attention.
In January, the president said he would push for universal background checks. On Monday the president seemed confident this measure will gain bi-partisan support.

Background checks are required if you buy a gun from a dealer, either at a shop or at a gun show. But if you buy from an individual, you don't have to have a background check. The president and politicians from both major parties are hoping to change that and it's something that gun owners at The Gun Show at Shelby Farms over the weekend seemed okay with.

"By all means, that's one of the first things to do, is to make sure someone has the right to own a pistol or rifle," said Ulysses Payne, NRA member.

"I think the government ought to do more of it and get into it a little heavier than what they do," added Woody Davis, gun owner.

"I think everybody should have a background check," echoed Gene Owens, gun owner.

Most gun-owners polled nationally share the same opinion as FOX13 News talked to. However, The NRA is not in support of universal background checks.

NRA Chief executive Wayne LaPierre says the system will make it more of a hassle for responsible gun owners. He thinks it will turn into a universal registry."

While some at the gun show seemed open to The President's proposal on universal background checks, they were not as keen on the idea of restricting what types of weapons they can own.

The gun that has sparked the most controversy in the debate over the assault weapons ban is the AR-15, a semi-automatic rifle that can be purchased with magazines holding up to 30 rounds. Gun dealers say the AR-15s should not be banned because it won't cut back on crime.

They also say most people don't understand what a semi-automatic rifle really is.

"The biggest difference between a traditional AR-15 and assault rifle is that by definition, is capable of select fire," said Chance Blasdel, manager Classic Arms. "That means, if you hold the trigger down it will continue to fire until the magazine is empty or you let off the trigger. Normal AR-15s that you can purchase off the shelf are semi-automatic only. That means you  have to pull the trigger, release it and pull the trigger again to fire the second round."

The other thing that confuses most about the AR-15 is that "AR" does not stand for assault rifle. It stands for "Armalite Rifle," which is the original company that designed this type of gun.

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