Local News

Gun owners leery of Obama's call for wider background checks

Posted January 5, 2016 5:37 p.m. EST
Updated January 5, 2016 6:54 p.m. EST

— Gun sales are up at Fuquay Gun and Gold in the wake of mass shootings from California to South Carolina and a promise by President Barack Obama to crack down on gun sales.

Manager Matt Reeves said Tuesday that he’s not opposed to Obama's call for universal background checks on gun buyers.

"I’d like to see his approach as to how he plans to address everybody going through a background check," Reeves said. "The only way I see they’d be able to enforce a national background check like that is to have a gun registry, which of course nobody’s going to want to enforce a gun registry."

Gun owner Matthew Maniace said he keeps guns on hand for protection.

"It's very scary being disabled and having a daughter and trying to protect my family," Maniace said. "My hands are tied. The criminals' hands are never tied."

Although he doesn’t want more gun laws, Maniace said he agrees with Obama that existing laws should be strictly enforced. Too many guns end up in the hands of the mentally ill, he said, but he doesn't see a realistic way to keep them out of the hands of criminals without infringing on his Second Amendment rights.

"How could you do that? You can’t," he said. "Knowing you can’t do that, wouldn’t you feel safer having a gun in your house?"

Gun rights in North Carolina

With President Barack Obama announcing plans to expand background checks to cover more firearms sold at gun shows, online and anywhere else, the issue of gun rights is again at the top of minds across the state and country.

For the second time in three years, WRAL.com is curious about what readers think about different gun rights issues, and whether those views have changed since 2013. Questions included in the poll below were generated for a 2013 study commissioned by WRAL.

See the results from WRAL.com's original poll in 2013.