Gun control concerns

Gun control

MASON CITY, Iowa - It’s a loaded controversial issue since there have been a number of recent tragedies involving guns.

On Monday, two people were killed in Washington State at a workplace shooting, and one of those killed was the shooter.

The topic of gun violence has been stirring for awhile now and it’s making people question how much regulation there should be.

Lawmakers have been trying to come to an agreement and an understanding of how to approach such a touchy subject both at the state and federal level.

Rep. Josh Byrnes, (R) Osage, says that while this is an election year and it’s a little bit shorter, tackling an issue like gun control probably won’t be in the hopper, but there are other topics of conversation linking to the issue.

“I think that the bigger picture is really on the federal level, and what federal legislative bodies are going to do about it,” Byrnes said.

He says that lawmakers will be working less on gun control and more on addressing mental health and health care benefits.

One local business depends on gun ownership and permits.

Kemlin Hart, owner of Hart Brother’s Weaponry says his stance is clear in that everyone has the right to bear arms.

“Being a responsible gun owner isn’t a difficult job to do,” he said, “common sense goes a long way.”

With a number of incidents that have happened in the past month like, the shooting at the Purdue University at the end of January and the standoff in Lake Mills that happened last week where shots were fired from both sides, Hart is concerned about what could happen going forward.

For him, stricter gun regulations could have an impact on his livelihood and the economy as a whole.

“It’s an $8 billion a year industry for the United States, that’s a big chunk of change we don’t need to take that out of the market.

For others, like Lieutenant Lon Johnson with the Cerro Gordo Sheriffs Office, the issue isn’t so cut and dry.

“I think you need to control the persons applying for these weapons getting weapons and even if you do that you’re still not going to completely solve this problem.”

Going through the process of applying for a permit, or even just buying a gun at a store like this, comes with extensive background checks into a person’s criminal history.

However, no matter how thorough these checks are, Johnson says that where there’s a will, there’s a way and people who are desperate will do whatever it takes to get their hands on what they need.

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