GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -Jon Bolic likes going to the indoor range at Silverbullet Firearms and Training Center.
“This is a Smith and Wesson mmp 1522. It’s a AR 15 platform,” he shows the gun he’s planning to rent.
He says his sights are set on buying a sporting rifle, better than the one he’s planning to rent. However, he’s not sure if that dream purchase will ever come true.
President Obama is calling for a ban on all military style weapons.
“I don’t think it’s going to do anything. If they do ban assault rifles, it’s going to open up another black market for guns and it’s gonna raise the prices and people will be… create a bigger market on the street for gun sales,” he said.
A similar ban passed in 1994 under President Clinton. It was aimed at keeping guns out of the wrong hands. That ban expired in 2004.
“We really did not see any dramatic reduction in violent crimes,” Mike Visser, a Silverbullet training instructor said.
He said surge in sales followed December’s sandy hook massacre.
“It was an unfortunate thing that happened with this tragedy that really started to drive this amount of mass purchasing,”
Within 5 days, he said his store sold out of military style rifles. Now they’re only available for rent, like the one Bolic has.
Visser said that particular rifle is used by hunters for sport, home protection, and certain styles are used in law enforcement.
The president said he also wants to limit the size of a magazine. That means rifles could only hold 10 bullets or less at a time.
“I’m not trying to reload every one minute. When you’re on the range, you’re going through ammo like that,” he snapped his fingers to illustrate. He says that’s wasted time.
There is a part of the president’s plan that Bolic and Visser agree with, and that’s cracking down on straw purchases. That’s when someone buys a gun legally with the intent of selling it to someone who’s not authorized to own one.
“The stiffer penalties for straw purchases, I’m in full support of. A convicted, someone that the ATF has deemed should not have a firearm because they’re a violent felon, absolutely,” he said.
Visser added, “As far as the universal backgrounds checks go, I think it’s a logistical nightmare. It’s gonna be very difficult to handle for every single firearms transaction out there.”
If a ban were to go into effect, Visser said he imagines what’s left in the store will sell pretty quickly.