Hawaii residents react to Pres. Obama's gun proposals

Hawaii residents react to Pres. Obama's gun proposals

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - President Barack Obama signed 23 executive orders today in an effort to combat gun violence. He also introduced a $500 million proposal that will require cooperation from Congress.

President Obama is calling for universal background checks, along with bans on semi-automatic rifles and magazines with more than 10 rounds. His sweeping proposals come at a time of spiking sales and low supplies throughout Hawaii.

The shelves at Security Equipment Corp. are typically better stocked.

"Since demand is so high, there's a bit of a shortage-especially with manufacturers and distributors," said salesman Anthony Loui.

AK-47s, AR-15s and M-4s are among the most popular guns, but good luck finding one. Loui says he even gets calls from the mainland.

"Some people are worried-- so they would just like to own it before they can't purchase them anymore," said Loui, adding that it's difficult to keep both the semi-automatic rifle and their ammunition in stock. Right now, they're sold out. "Demand is so high, we usually sell out the same day we get them in," said Loui.

President Obama's plan to re-new the ban on military-style firearms was immediately met with opposition by the National Rifle Association.

Harvey Gerwig is the Hawaii Rifle Association President-- it's the officially recognized state affiliate of the NRA.

"The Second Amendment protects our right as legal owners of firearms to possess them and use them legally-- and the vast, vast majority of the 300 million firearms in America are used legally," said Gerwig.

Gerwig says the ban was unsuccessful during the Clinton era and had no significant impact on gun violence.

"Does the assault ban take it away from the criminals? Absolutely not! Not one single gun," said Gerwig.

But even the NRA seems to have found some common ground when it comes to expanding background checks.

"I think the background check is probably the right direction to go. Our feeling is this isn't a gun issue, this is a mental health issue. And that part of the President's plan makes sense to me," said Gerwig.

Gerwig says Hawaii's procedure for background checks is one of the toughest, but best in the nation. He believes the rest is the country would benefit from following our model.

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