Local reaction to President's gun control action

Posted at 11:16 PM, Jan 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-06 06:23:03-05

Maryland has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, yet the casualty count last year in Baltimore broke records.

"I would be willing to bet that very few, if any, of the guns that were used in those shootings were legally purchased," said Michael Horst, Manager at Horst & McCann Indoor Gun Range in Bel Air.

Horst is a licensed as a firearms dealer in the state and federally, meaning every person who buys a gun from him goes through a federal background check.       

Gun control is a hot topic, and Tuesday, some local leaders were in Washington taking aim.

"We're calling for reasonable measures that can be taken to keep guns out of the hands that shouldn’t have them," Baltimore County Police Chief, Jim Johnson said.

Johnson was there as Chairman of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, and met with the President before he announced multiple executive orders to tighten control and enforcement of firearms across the country.

"This is not a plot to take away everybody's guns, you pass a background check, you purchase a firearm," the President said.

The center of his effort seeks to close the so called 'gun show loophole’ by expanding the definition of who is a dealer.  The goal is more background checks when firearms are purchased.  Obama is also proposing a larger focus on mental health in the checks, and calling for hundreds of FBI and ATF agents to process the background checks and enforce laws.       

Back at the gun range, Horst questions if this clamp down will really change the violence we see in Baltimore.

"Those people don't buy guns from gun dealers, they don't buy guns from gun shows, they buy them from each other and most of the time they're stolen firearms," he said.

Just two weeks ago the Feds busted a massive gun trafficking operation they say brought more than 400 guns into the city in 2015.

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