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President Obama’s gun control proposals draw mixed reactions in Flathead

By Scott Zoltan, KECI Reporter, szoltan@keci.com
Published On: Jan 16 2013 08:59:54 PM MST
Updated On: Jan 16 2013 10:12:58 PM MST
KALISPELL, Mont. -

The guns at Frontier Guns and Ammo in Kalispell have been flying off the shelves. One manager at the store, says that the days following the Newtown massacre have been some of the busiest for the store, and news of President Obama’s gun control proposals have brought more customers through the store’s doors to stock up.

“They want to get the guns that they want to own now because they might not get a chance to buy them later on,” said manager Scott Hansen. “The demand is so high right now that if everybody quit buying guns and quit buying ammo for a whole year the manufacturers would still be behind, probably.” 

Hansen says customers have vocalized frustrations during their recent visits to the shop.

“Our government already does not follow the constitution but guns are a very, very sticky situation with people.”

Hansen says he says Obama’s gun-control proposals are a step in the wrong direction.

“If we give them the foothold…They don’t want to just ban the semiautomatics and high-cap mags, they want to ban every single gun that we own.”

The Flathead is a hotbed for Montana’s gun industry, and Obama’s proposals have sparked a heated debate. At a different gun shop, NBC Montana met a man who says he’s a proponent of gun rights and the second amendment but says one change may help prevent putting guns in the wrong hands.

“The registration process probably could be revamped a little bit,” said Martin City resident Monty Pruett.

Pruett says he supports at least one part of Obama’s proposals -- the part that would close the gun show loophole.

“It gives people that have bad intentions a way to procure firearms that they normally wouldn’t be able to get,” said Pruett.

Over at Sykes Diner in Kalispell, the discussion continued with a man who said more attention needs to be paid to the way folks raise their children.

“The problem is at home. If we had greater parenting skills and people that cared more about that without all these side issues of drugs and booze and everything else, that’s where the issue needs to be taken up. If we get better parenting skills we’d have far less of these problems,” said Kalispell resident Gerry Banzet.

At this point, Obama’s proposals are just that -- proposals. However, folks in the Flathead will be keeping a close eye on what happens, whether they buy guns, make guns, or simply live around guns.