Gun dealers, owners respond to president's proposals - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Gun dealers, owners respond to president's proposals

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New Orleans, La. - The phone rings constantly at Gretna Gun Works and a steady stream of customers gets buzzed through the locked doors.

Sales at this store have skyrocketed in the last month as talk of possible restrictions on gun sales has grown louder.

"Certain types of guns are very difficult to get, if at all," says manager Jason Gregory. "Certain calibers of ammunition are almost nonexistent, very difficult to get."

Gregory says prices have tripled on many types of ammunition and ammo clips that hold as many as 30 rounds each.  They would be banned under President Barack Obama's new proposal.

The president is calling for a ban on assault-type rifles and a 10-round limit on magazines.  Gregory doesn't think it will work and says the proposals would simply limit gun owners' rights.

"Anytime you try to ban something, it's going to create a black market," he says. "It's going to create problems in the system.  And even in the previous ban, you could still buy these firearms, you could still buy these magazines.  So it does not ban the gun."

But gun owner Frank Alexis thinks lawmakers have to do something to stop gun violence.

"I just think gun owners, intelligent gun owners have to realize that the proposal that we're speaking about across the country has nothing to do with the Second Amendment," he says. "The Second Amendment's not going to be affected. We're always going to be able to have the right to bear arms."

Along with the ban on assault-type weapons, the president says there needs to be more research into the causes of gun violence.  Obama also called for more support of mental health programs.  Dr. Pritesh Gandhi, who heads up the local organization Doctors Against Gun Violence, says that's the only way to stop some of the crimes.

"Without a doubt, in this city, we struggle with mental health," he says. "We have one of the lowest rates of access to mental health. We spend some of the least in terms of mental health if you look at it nationally.  And obviously, as you know, we've been through a lot in this city. Mental health is the number one priority in this city."

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