Stricter Gun Control?
A recent Associated Press survey shows women, Democrats, and minorities all favor stricter guidelines, probably because of recent events.
"What happened in West Virginia could very well happen again. Columbine wasn't the last incident, and I don't think Virginia Tech is going to be the last incident. Anybody bound and determined to carry out a crime of that magnitude, it's virtually impossible to stop," said Detective Tom O'Sullivan of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
Comments like that have people on edge, and one gun store manager says in the past two weeks, he's noticed a change.
"A lot of things are happening where people are wanting to have that firearm on them to be protected at all times,"said Douglas Grindstaff, 'Target Masters' Operations Manager.
But just how easy is it to get a handgun? First, you have to go to the Sheriff's office and fill out an application. Among the questions asked on the application:
- Are you over 21?
- Are you a citizen of the United States?
- Have you been convicted of felony?
Once you submit your application, you wait. Within 7 to 10 days, after performing a background check, the Sheriff's Department lets you know if you qualify to own a handgun. If you're application is accepted, you pay a $10 fee and are issued a permit. You bring that permit to a licensed firearms dealer and once you've chosen the gun you'd like to buy, a second background check is performed. If you pass that check as well, you're free to walk out of the store with your handgun.
Grindstaff thinks more can be done to judge who's fit to own a firearm.
"The only problem, we're seeing this nationwide, is there's a lot of protection on mental status. And we need to have those documents opened because even the NRA agrees that mental competence should be able to be checked," said Grindstaff.
For now, gun controls will continue to stay the same. More than 1,800 gun permits have been issued in the past year. To own a rifle in the state of Missouri, you only need to be 18.