Alabamians React: Pres. Obama Proposes Stricter Gun Laws


By Jessica Gertler

The President is rolling out a sweeping package to address gun violence. It includes new gun laws that would require action from Congress as well as steps the President is taking on his own. Tonight, Alabamians react to the president's call for Congress.

"I'm calling on Congress to pass some very specific proposals," says President Obama.

Obama is presenting his steps to stop gun violence in the wake of an elementary school shooting rampage in Connecticut last month.

A main focus of Obama's proposal is reinstating an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004, which limits ammunition magazines to no more than 10 rounds.

"No I don't think it's the answer. Guns don't kill people. People kill people," says Smith Powell of Prattville.

Some folks we spoke with say the president's proposal has backfired, because more people than ever before are purchasing assault rifles in case they are banned.

"All this man has done is put an assault weapon in every house in America. That's all he has accomplished," says Danny Thompson who owns High Caliber Gun & Pawn in Prattville.

Marshall Wells of Prattville says he will not give up his weapon because, "it's my Second Amendment right. I'm not going to give them up."

Obama also wants to require background checks on all gun sales including those sold privately or at auctions and conventions.

Alabama U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions says he will be looking at the proposal closely.

"The fundamental right of keeping to bear arms, I support," he says. "I will not support fundamental reductions of that right."

But many are standing by Obama's proposal. Rose Miller says banning assault weapons will help stop violence nationwide.

"I think it can deter some people that consider it. I don't see any need for them," Miller says.

The house and senate committees say they will be meeting in the coming weeks to discuss gun control. 

The Montgomery County Sheriff's Office has released a statement in response to Obama's proposal. Sheriff D.T. Marshall says while he supports the right to bear arms, he says "it is time to institute some stiffer laws concerning assault type weapons and semi-automatic handguns with extended loaded magazines."