By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS
President Obama called upon Congress Wednesday to toughen America’s gun laws. Obama announced plans to introduce legislation by next week that includes a ban on assault weapons, limits on high-capacity magazines, expanded background checks for gun purchases and new gun trafficking laws to crack down on the spread of weapons across the country.
Indiana 3rd District Congressman Marlin Stutzman, a Republican, said he will oppose the President’s assault-weapons ban.
“The Founders enshrined the American right to keep and bear arms in the Constitution,” Stutzman said. “The Obama Administration has a long track record of advocating policies that infringe on the liberty and freedom of the citizenry and, unfortunately, today’s proposals follow the same pattern.
“As the father of two young sons, I will work to ensure our nation’s children are safe while also protecting the rights and freedoms of future generations. I urge the President to join me and parents across the country in condemning Hollywood’s irresponsible glorification of violence.”
Goshen Mayor Allan Kauffman said he likes local control on the issue of gun control legislation.
“There needs to be room for common sense,” Kauffman said. “The federal government and states aren’t doing anything.”
The mayor said he believes the majority of the members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) wouldn’t be opposed to some legislation.
“The silent majority of the NRA needs to speak up, they need to stand up to their leadership,” Kauffman said. “The access to automatic weapons is too great and the NRA doesn’t always preach common sense. There’s no one solution. We need a multiple point approach. I don’t know why common sense doesn’t prevail.”
Nathan Hughes, a sales representative with Rocket Guns in Goshen, said gun control legislation should remain at the state level and not at the national level. The concerns he sees with the broader action on guns is the infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights.
Obama also promised to act without Congressional approval to increase the enforcement of existing gun laws and improve the flow of information among federal agencies to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and others who shouldn’t have them.
Hughes said he thinks the change would be good to make the background checks system more accurate and to make it harder for people that don’t buy from gun shops.
“Control the black market on guns,” Hughes said.