Fear of losing guns prompts rapid fire sales in FolsomBy: Laura Newell, Features Editor
With the debate of gun control overtaking much of the nation, local gun owners are feeling the pressure to take action.
STS Guns in Folsom is also feeling the pressure, as guns and ammunition are being sold at a rapid pace.
Bill Sharff, owner of STS Guns, said business has been booming over the last month.
“Business has been crazy. People have come in a just cleaned us out. We took off about three days before the election. We are selling ammunition and guns within minutes of them coming into our store,” Sharff said. “Everyone is really concerned that there will be gun control laws passed. They are afraid that if they don’t get their guns now, they won’t be able to in the future.”
Sharff said the main question customers are asking is, “Do you think the government will take our guns away from us?”
“I think that people are afraid of these political changes,” he said. “There is a big misunderstanding of assault rifles and what is illegal. So we are here to help educate people on what is legal and what is illegal. … It just appalls me that someone or some state can strip you of your Constitutional rights.”
Julie Marshall, 26, of Folsom, is associated with the Friends of the NRA in Folsom.
“I believe the Second Amendment gives us the right to protect ourselves and keep our families safe. A cop or security person can not always be there at your house or school when an intruder comes. It’s sad that violent things have happened recently; however, it is my belief that it’s not guns who harm people, but the person who holds the tool in their hands,” Marshall said. “These tools can be knives, hammers, bats or anything and everything that a criminal’s sick mind can use as a weapon. If they want to do bodily harm, they will. The gun protects the innocent. I believe there are more good people than bad who need these guns for protection.”
She went on to say the “right to protect oneself” dates back to the country’s beginning.
“Our Founding Fathers thought it was important to put the Second Amendment in the Constitution so that no one, not even our own government, could take our right to bear arms away,” Marshall said. “I believe what they wrote, and I believe in fighting for it to stay implemented.”
Sharff said, no matter how often the government changes laws, criminals will always find a way to break them.
“You can change the laws and take away our guns, but the criminals will not stop being criminals. This is a common comment that I hear from people everyday,” Sharff said. “It’s the old adage that if you criminalize guns, only criminals will have them.”
Muriel Brounstein, past president and one of the founders of the Folsom Area Democratic Club, supports the President’s executive orders.
“(I) recognize that our Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. However, when the Constitution was written over 200 years ago there was no such thing as an assault weapon, so our Constitution does not give a specific right to own an assault weapon. Our national leaders need to use common sense and ban assault weapons,” Brounstein said. “We also need a stricter gun permit process with a mandatory three-day waiting period for all guns sold everywhere including gun shows. We must keep guns out of the hands of convicted felons and those who are mentally ill.”
She said there needs to be an end to mass shootings.
“We have to stop the horrific murders of innocent children and law-abiding citizens who are in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Brounstein said. “The NRA’s suggestion to have armed guards on school campuses is absurd. Aside from the tremendous cost, it is ridiculous to think that one guard at a school with a conventional gun can be everywhere on campus and defend against an assault weapon. Too often we hear of an angry family member shooting a spouse and children. The NRA says that guns don’t kill people; people kill people. But, without such easy access to guns, many lives would be saved every year. The number of gun deaths in the US is astronomical compared to other major countries. It’s time for our elected officials to do what is right for their constituents and stop worrying about re-election and being afraid of the NRA.”
Dale Kirkpatrick, 62, of Folsom, thinks the government is looking in the wrong direction to solve the issue of violence.
“Gun control has never worked. We don’t have a gun problem in this country; we have a cultural problem in my opinion,” Kirkpatrick said. “A criminal will always be a criminal and they will always find a gun. There will not be an effect on these high crime rates if the government takes guns away from law abiding citizens.”
Kirkpatrick said what needs to be examined more closely is how to better protect and patrol high violent/crime areas in the country and how children are being medicated these days.
“It seems that these days if a kid is acting up, they are quickly medicated,” he said. “So I want to know what kinds of prescription drugs these mass shooters might be on and how they may be mind altering. No one is really disclosing what kinds of drugs these shooters are on.”
Kirkpatrick said he does not want to take away medications that are helping people; he just wants to be informed on what may be going on in the minds of mass shooters.
“It’s like going hunting, and they (the government) are hunting in all the wrong areas in the woods,” Kirkpatrick said. “They are just going for the guns rather than fixing the real problems. And that will just restrict lawful gun owners.”