Alaska gun store owner heartbroken over Florida shooting
The Florida students' rally is putting more pressure on the government for stricter gun laws but in the state of Alaska where guns are treasured some believe guns aren't the problem.
The owner of Mountain View Sports, John Staser, says the emotions surrounding the Florida shooting are universal on both sides.
“Every legitimate gun owner's heart breaks when innocent people are hurt from firearms,” said Staser. “No one in their right mind wants to see this happen.”
As the owner of Mountain View Sports and a gun owner himself, Staser says he believes the issue begins with mental health.
“The health needs of many individuals are going unmet,” said Staser. “I think we need to dedicate more resources to that effort. I don't think that additional regulations on the gun industry are going to help that problem.”
All customers who purchase any type of gun at his store or any store in the U.S. must fill out a federal form for a background check.
“The form covers all of the personal information on the individual purchasing the gun,” said Staser. “It asks a lot of questions that individual has to answer. In the end, he has to swear that those answers are correct. It asks if that person was a felon or they have to tell us if they are. It also asks about their mental capabilities if they have ever been committed.”
The FBI then verifies that information before a gun can be sold, but Staser says he also relies on his gut instinct.
“If we don't have a good feeling about a person we won't sell them a gun,” said Staser. “If there is anything that indicates us that they are unstable or unfit to own a firearm. It’s just not worth it to have that happen.“
Staser says he recognizes there is a lot of disagreement on the issue of guns, but even from a gun seller, there is a shared desire to keep them out of the wrong hands.
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