Nighclub Shooting Assault Weapons (copy)

In this Aug. 15, 2012 photo, three variations of the AR-15 assault rifle are displayed at the California Department of Justice in Sacramento, Calif. While the guns look similar, the bottom version is illegal in California because of its quick reload capabilities. Omar Mateen used an AR-15 that he purchased legally when he killed 49 people in an Orlando nightclub over the weekend President Barack Obama and other gun control advocates have repeatedly called for reinstating a federal ban on semi-automatic assault weapons that expired in 2004, but have been thwarted by Republicans in Congress.

I’m not anti-gun. However, for years I’ve thought the 1994 ban on high-capacity weapons should be reinstated immediately.

It doesn’t ban current ownership; it only prevents additional weapons or high-capacity magazines from being manufactured or imported. These items would once again become extremely expensive to purchase. And that would stop disturbed individuals from having unlimited access to $400 high-capacity, semi-automatic weapons.

Every “collector” will already have one of these weapons. But if AK’s and AR’s go back to costing $2,000-plus, it would greatly limit easy access. Another desperately needed action would be to make the permit and FBI background check required to purchase a handgun in North Carolina a national requirement for handguns and high-capacity rifles. Some states have few, if any, requirements.

Many legal owners are concerned that any new law would require confiscating existing weapons. That would be difficult, if not impossible, and would chafe Second Amendment supporters. Compromise is needed or no change will come.

I believe that mental illness, disintegration of the family unit, lack of education and violent video games are contributing issues as well. But that’s another letter.

Thomas Statham


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