Columbia Residents React to President Obama\'s Gun Control Plan

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COLUMBIA - President Obama's new plan on gun control brought mixed feelings to Columbia on Wednesday.

The plan includes four main points:
•Closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands
•Banning military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines; and taking common sense steps to reduce gun violence
•Making schools safer
•Increasing access to mental health services

Local gun owners said they agree with two of the four steps, making school safer and increasing access to mental health services. But they do not believe the rest of the plan will help with gun control.

"We don't really see the need for the legislation that we have heard he's proposing," assistant manager at the Black Rifle Mike O'Dell said. He also said there are several gun laws in place, but gun laws do not stop criminals.

"Somebody that's already set to go commit a crime isn't going to care that they're committing another crime by obtaining a gun illegally," O'Dell said.

The language of the plan also concerns gun owners. According to O'Dell, referring to "military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines" further contributes to people fearing guns and gun usage. He said because of miseducation on guns, a lot of people do not know that military-style assault weapons are not available to regular people. People are only allowed to purchase the approved semi-automatic weapon in stores. O'Dell also said referring to high capacity magazines does not consider the appropriate magazine type for specific guns.

But other Columbia residents said the gun control plan is a good start to addressing a major issue in the community. In Missouri, residents can sell guns to each other as long as they believe the buyer is in "good faith."  Tyree Byndom lives in the Douglass Park area of Columbia, and he said the plan is the first step in combating improper gun usage.

"If you have an assault rifle in your car driving around Columbia, there's nothing good that's gonna (going to) come from it," Byndom said.

Gun owners said it is important to encourage proper gun education. They said the current plan does not give people the choice for gun education, and that is not the way to solve gun issues.

President Obama already signed 23 parts of the new law that do not need congressional approval.