After the Atlanta shooting on March 16 and the Boulder massacre on March 22, many Americans and the Biden Administration have pushed for a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles. Second Amendment advocates in Southern California believe it will not solve the problem.
Jack Brandhorst, owner of Red Rifle arms shop in Carson since 2012, grew up in Baltimore being anti-gun. It was not until he moved to California where he changed his opinion about guns.
“Moving to California, I saw how responsible gun ownership is,” said Brandhorst.
Brandhorst said being anti-gun is “ridiculous” because it goes against our freedom to choose how we want to protect ourselves. He also stated that bans on certain firearms would not change the death rates in America.
Instead of banning guns, he suggested that the government enforces the laws it currently has to protect citizens.
“They want to pass new laws, they want to pass a ban, they want to pass these universal background checks, but they don’t enforce the laws that are currently in place,” said Brandhorst.
“We have had people in [the store] here that were mentally ill trying to buy a gun and we didn’t let them. And when we reported it to the state, they didn’t do anything about it,” said Brandhorst.
People with criminal records have tried to purchase guns as well. Brandhorst explained that the government tends not to prosecute those with criminal records applying to buy a gun, which is how they would be found through background checks.
“So how about we enforce the laws that we currently have that were put in place to stop things like this [mass shootings] from happening and then see what happens,” said Brandhorst.
Brandhorst is not the only gun advocate that agreed that restricting guns is not the right way to protect citizens.
Richard Castillo, a Rialto resident, has been a registered gun owner for three years. He is the owner of a Glock 42 and a 12-gauge shotgun. Castillo is a long-time supporter of owning guns.
“I have always believed people should be allowed to own guns for safety reasons, and we enjoy it as well, going to shooting ranges, just chilling and having fun,” said Castilo.
Castillo understands certain guns, such as the AR-15, are not liked and that people should not use them. However, he does not think it will make a difference in the mass shootings if the government gets rid of the guns.
“People will still find a way to obtain illegal guns and do minor or major harm by any other gun,” said Castillo.
However, Castillo advocated for stronger background checks. He stated that not only should the government find a way for people to stop buying illegal guns, but “people should have to go to school to be taught how to handle a gun.”
Castillo compared how the tests to get a gun license is like ones people take at the DMV. They are too simple.
“They are common sense questions. You really do not have to know much about guns to pass,” said Castillo
“There is no way to make people happy. No sides will be content with either option anyways,” said Castillo.