Tri-staters weigh in on possible background check legislation


EVANSVILLE, In. (WEHT) — Before President Trump took off for Louisville on Wednesday, he challenged reports that he had walked-back his position on gun sale background checks.

Those reports came after a call with the NRA President on Tuesday. The topic of background checks has been in the forefront again since the President called for “more meaningful” checks after the shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

President Trump told the press quote “I don’t think I’ve changed positions at all. We’re working on background checks. There are things we can do. But we already have very serious background checks.” Legislation addressing gun violence is expected to be addressed when Congress reconvenes.

“I don’t think America has a gun problem. I think America has a people problem,” said Bill Lykins in Henderson. No matter what people think is behind gun violence, it’s clear that everyone wants a solution. “Honestly, the biggest thing is gun safety. That’s what most people come in here and talk about,” says Uncle Rudy’s manager and firearms instructor Patrick DeSpain.

Aside from political opinion, terminology can be confusing too.

“We’ve heard the term ‘assault rifle’, but it’s really a non-existent thing. The term ‘assault rifle’ was a militarized term used a long time ago for machine guns and things like that. But the thing that peope are saying is an assault rifle is what is the AR 15 is, what they are claiming, and that is incorrect.”

Those who want to purchase a firearm are already subject to background checks by the FBI.

“The background check can have three options, you can either have a proceed, which means they’re good to go; it means there’s a delayed, so it means there’s maybe multiple names out there of the same person they’re doing more research on, or there’s a denied.”

“Background checks. I think it’s a good thing if it can prevent what happened a couple weeks ago. But I am not for gun control.”

DeSpain says they mostly deal with good people, but they have had a few instances of people trying to buy guns for others.

“Those straw purchases that we were seeing, and we had to stop and then ends up, we did the right thing. And it did all work out properly.”

And as the President and Congress debate background checks and gun control in Washington, the discussion continues in towns like ours across America.

“I think they’re a necessary thing,” said Robb Forehand. “I think we need to expand them and strengthen them.”

“I think it’s our right. And I’ll always feel that way,” says Lykins.

While no one claims to have all the answers, those we spoke with on and off camera spoke of many things they think could be the problem, like mental health:

“I think it’s just the day, age that we live in. It’s hectic, you know everybody’s stressed out, and these young ones are just lost.”

And the need for more background checks.

“It’s time.”

The earliest any legislation could be considered is september — when congress is back in session.

So far, terminology around what the legislation could be has been vague.

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