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Locals react to President Obama's gun control remarks

Locals react to President Obama's gun control remarks

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - President Barack Obama's talks in Washington fueled debate Wednesday on gun control in Colorado Springs.

According to the Associated Press, Obama took the stage to announce a $500 million package consisting of executive actions and legislative proposals.  Obama signed 23 executive actions on Wednesday after the announcement. Among other things, the package urged Congress to consider a ban on military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Obama said he wanted to expand universal background checks to all gun sales, not just gun sales in stores.

Paul Paradis owns Paradise Sales in Colorado Springs. He said he was too busy selling guns to tune in to the president's address.

When asked about his stance on the military-style assault weapons, he said he has seen gun bans in the past, and they never work.

"They haven't done anything for anybody. Every time you stop a citizen who is law-abiding from having a tool to defend themselves, you've made crime much more accessible for the evil people in society," said Paradis.

He thinks not all gun sales should require background checks. He said the government does not need to require background checks for a father selling his gun to his son. He said the government is overstepping its ground. 

But Christy La Leit with the El Paso County Democratic Party had a different opinion of Obama's remarks.

"I was thrilled to see him taking such a strong stand.  I think the proposals that he has put forth are reasonable," said La Leit.

Paradis said Obama's plans were not comprehensive enough to make a lasting change on gun violence. La Leit disagreed, saying Obama's plan was very specific.

La Leit said she's heard a lot of positive feedback from the president's remarks. She said too often the National Rifle Association dominates discussions and acts as the voice of the majority, when in reality, many people favor stricter gun control.

"People here are tired of this climate of fear that's being pushed every time they turn around. 'They are going to take our guns, oh, no!' I didn't hear the president say at all today that he was taking anyone's guns," said La Leit.

Paradis said he is more concerned with legislation that will come down from the Democratic-controlled Colorado state Legislature.

On Wednesday, Sen. Kent Lambert, R-Colorado Springs, introduced a bill that would require stores to allow customers to carry their weapon on the premise. Businesses that would insist on a gun-free premise would be required to provide an armed security guard for every 50 customers in store and face greater liability.

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