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Kansas Leaders, Residents React To Obama's Executive Action On Guns

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Michael Saechange
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flickr Creative Commons

President Obama announced on Tuesday an executive action aimed at curbing gun violence in the U.S.

At the center of the executive action is a section which states that, whether at store, at a gun show, or over the internet, those in the business of selling firearms must conduct background checks on buyers. It’s meant to close a common loophole.

Jess Hancock, owner of the Wichita Gun Club, which sells weapons and offers training, said dealers like him already do this. He’s not sure what will be asked of his business, but he says one thing is clear: As the national debate over gun control wages on, firearms are moving fast.

“It’s increased our business trifold,” he said. “We have a lot of empty space right now and we’re having a hard time replacing that with inventory.”

Hancock says that while some customers have expressed a fear of the federal government banning guns all together, he doesn’t feel this way.

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Rep. John Carmichael

State Rep. John Carmichael of Wichita supports Obama’s efforts. He says in the face of more frequent and more violent mass shootings, even this small step is welcome.

“The exact manner in which we go about resolving this circumstance—at the same time protecting American’s right to keep and bear arms—is a very difficult problem, but we have to start somewhere,” Carmichael says.

Part of Obama’s executive action is a plan to meet with state and local officials across the country to come up with ways to increase gun safety. Rep. Carmichael says he doesn’t have much confidence in the Kansas legislature to make changes to gun regulation.

U.S. Congressman Mike Pompeo denounced Obama’s action, saying that the president is infringing on the rights of Kansans.

“We are all pained by the recent acts of violence in our country, yet not one of the changes the president is considering would have saved any of those lives that were lost,” Pompeo said in a release.

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Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter @SeanSandefur

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