Lexington gun shop owner weighs in on bills passed in U.S. House

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – After two mass shootings in one week, President Joe Biden is urging Congress to swiftly pass gun control laws and says he may even take action on his own.

How are those measures viewed on a state level? One Lexington gun shop owner said making it harder to get a gun isn’t the answer; the focus should be on tightening existing gun laws.

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“I think they need to enforce the laws that we have on the books right now,” Jay Evans, owner of Evans Firearms & Archery, said.

He said making it harder to buy guns won’t change the epidemic of gun violence in the country.

“There’s a procedure that takes place and I really don’t know how much more can be done as far as preventing the wrong person from buying a firearm,” Evans said.

Evans said the process of buying a gun typically takes about 15 minutes. Customers fill out a form and the info is sent to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Evans said most of his customers are approved, and though he stresses gun safety classes, he said the background check should be enough to walk away the same day. He disagrees with measures passed by the U.S. House to make that process more extensive.

“The bills that I see, you’re going to penalize the law-abiding citizen instead of the potential criminal,” Evans said.

One bill would require background checks for private sales, including at guns shows.

“I don’t think that statistics are there that should compromise that,” Evans said.

According to FactCheck.org, it’s a mixed bag. It cites data describing the effect the bill would have as “inconclusive.”

Another bill would increase the window to conduct a background check to ten days instead of the current three days.

According to FactCheck.org, that’s how Dylann Roof purchased the gun he later used to kill nine people in a church in Charleston, South Carolina in 2015.

Evans said he’s not opposed to the bill, but says mass shootings, while sad, are rare. He said energy should be directed toward more pressing matters

“You take a weekend in Chicago, Houston, LA, how many people are killed? I think something needs to be done as far as the mental illness problem we have in the United States and try to address that,” Evans said.