Hard Choices

Hard choices chat: Gun expert Mike Tilley

Posted January 23, 2013 6:00 p.m. EST
Updated January 4, 2016 5:39 a.m. EST

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mike Tilley is the owner of Personal Defense & Handgun Safety Center Inc. in Raleigh, which includes a firearms shop, range and school. He sells semi-automatic rifles with large capacity magazines and has sold out of the AR-15, one of the most popular types. People have been buying them up for fear they will be banned, Tilley said.

This is an archive of a live chat held Jan. 23, 2013.

8:57 WRAL:
Good evening. Thank you for joining us for this discussion of the hard choices around gun rights, violence and mental health. Mike Tilley will take your questions.

8:58 Comment From Anonymous
Have you ever lost someone in a public shooting?

8:59 Comment From justin lucas
should gun owners worry about their rights

8:59 Comment From Guest
Banning guns, ammo, or magazines does not work at all. Just ask Chicago. I thought the reportage tonight was kind of left-leaning however they did go into violence in the media which it seems no one else on TV does, so kudos for that at least.

8:59 Comment From John
Mr. Tilley Quite a few CLEO's are saying the will not enforce a ban. Why did you not correct the reporter. He was not shooting a black rifle but a .22.

9:01 Comment From John
some states have put into legislation that federal officers will be subject to fines and prison if they try to enforce a ban your thoughts?

9:01 Comment From Guest
Is the ATF going to start "slowing" down the process for Class III items such as supressors? Have you seen that start to happen lately?

9:03 Comment From Guest
I fail to understand why anybody needs assault rifles?

9:04 Mike Tilley:
The recent public shootings that spurred this topic are indeed horrific and thankfully I have not lost anyone in such a terrible way. Hopefully the dialog that has begun will help us to find ways to stop future acts. The problem of evil and violence is not a new one and the answers will not be easy.

9:04 Comment From Shawn
The 2nd amendment guarantees citizens that their right to bear arms "shall not be infringed", does this current momentum to create stricter gun control illicit a concern that once one right is compromised all rights are subject to compromise?

9:05 Comment From Anonymous
Or do you know anyone who lost someone in a public shooting? Because I myself, and my friend have lost two in two different school shootings. One 17 years old and one 7 years old.

9:06 Comment From BlueNC
There's a lot of noise these days about requiring photo IDs to register to vote, a public duty that is protected by the constitution. Why would anyone be against a similar requirement for gun ownership, something that is also protected by the constitution?

9:06 Mike Tilley:
Gun owners should be concerned about their rights as some lawmakers have made it very clear that they wish to go after the law abiding citizens right to bear arms.

9:07 Comment From William
You already need an ID to buy a gun.

9:09 Mike Tilley:
John, Lots of things are being said by both sides of this issue in the heat of the conversation. Some times the answers are not thought through very well. I dont think for a moment that we will see some broad ranging confiscation of firearms in this country. I do think that our rights will be gradually whittled away until they are gone.

9:09 Comment From carolinashootersclub
why did the reporter wrongly say (in the story) that a private seller needs to use a FFL to transfer a handgun?

9:09 WRAL:
Here's what the reporter said about the FFL: No permit is required to buy a rifle but if you buy a rifle from a federally licensed firearms dealer you'll need to pass a background check or present a pistol permit to show that you have.

9:09 Comment From Mike T
What can we do to help protect our rights? I have joined the NRA, Wrote lawmakers etc.... I myself think it is not the guns but the mentally ill.

9:10 Comment From John
Why did WRAL or You Not bring up the FBI reports that say rifles are used in 1% of violent crimes and .25% are black rifles. Or that hammers are used in more murders than rifles. No federal statistical data was used. Not from the ATF FBI or Justice department. Why are neither side using these reports that say bans don't work for criminals.

9:10 Comment From Guest
As a society of humans, why do people feel the need to own and/or use something so destructive as automatic weapons, whether for sport or protection?

9:10 Mike Tilley:
I have heard of no slowing down of NFA items other than what is caused by an increase in sales and transfers nationwide.

9:10 Comment From Jonte
I see most people are calling for a "national registry" if this is done , I think there should be a national concealed carry permit for citizens. what are your thoughts?

9:11 Comment From Warren
Did you see the gun violence and blood on the show that came on immediately after the 8:00 show. Sick video games, movies and the stuff I just saw on none other than wral.

9:11 Comment From Andrew
Why do people have an issure with stricter background checks and backgroun checks on private sales? It's seems to me like if you fail the background check you shouldn't be buying the gun either way and if you would pass it you have nothing to worry about. I'd love to hear the otherside, as wella s your stance.

9:11 Comment From annonimous
I was in and out of hospitals when I was in my 20's and early 30's but haven't had any trouble since. Could I get a gun permit now or am I still considered a risk?

9:12 Comment From Shawn
According to the FBI death by "Hands, fist, feet, etc" exceeding rifles by over 500 out of the total 12,664 murders. Why are "rifles" the fear?

9:12 Comment From Andrew
Why do gun owners have a problem with background checks on private sales? IF you would pass a background check then you have nothing to worry about and if you wouldn't pass it then you probably shouldn't have a gun. What's your opinion on background checks in private sales as well as stricter checks?

9:12 Comment From carolinashootersclub
@wral, in the handgun section, she clearly said the transaction would have to be done at a FFL

9:13 WRAL:
The mention of permitting for handguns was "To buy a handgun here you've got to get a pistol purchase permit at your local sheriff's office."

9:13 Mike Tilley:
Every law abiding responsible firearm owner cringes when we hear of a firearm finding its way into the hands of someone who should not have one. Firearms in the hands of any person who would use it for harm hurt all of us.

9:13 Comment From Shawn
The background check is not the fear, it is the language placed on the conditions and criteria. PTSD could become a disqualified, depression could become a disqualified, etc....

9:13 Comment From kevin blades
Guns and high capacity magazines are not the problem. The problem is parents not doing there duty raising there children right and mental health issues being overlooked.

9:13 Comment From Guest
Do you think that lack of education, and media bias tend to just add more fuel to the fire that is gun control, ie people who think we can just go out and buy an automatic weapon on whim, and the media attaching to any gun violence story.

9:14 Comment From April
Having tougher laws on automatic and assault bans will work just as well as having international laws & regulations on atomic/nuclear weapons. The criminals will still find a way. Therefore, we should try our best to eliminate "weapons of mass destruction" from our society.

9:14 Comment From William
Good point Shawn.

9:14 Comment From Anonymous
Have you read the Sandy Hook Promise? Would you be willing to look into it? "To be open to all possibilities. There is no agenda other than to make our community and our nation a safer, better place."

9:15 WRAL:
You can review the special, the poll and results and additional content with information about mental health, gun laws and ratings for violent entertainment here: http://www.wral.com/specialreports/hard_choices/

9:16 Comment From Allen
Can i practice shooting my new ar15 at your range? i know some ranges are pistols only

9:16 Comment From Shawn
The 1994 assault weapon ban did nothing more than take the weapons out of law abiding citizens, there is no research to support that it did anything more than increase the illicit sales of firearms.

9:18 Comment From Andrew
I just for whatever reason can't understand peoples problems with background checks on private sales. I plan fully to purchase a handgun for self defense and some range shooting when I'm at the point in my life where I can justify the expense. I won't join the NRA due to some personal issues with there policy but that's niether here nor there. I just can't understand why a law abiding gun owner would have an issue with a background check when buying from a friend, I have to document a car sale to another private citizen, seems a gun would need that moreso.

9:18 Comment From Jonte
I agree with Shawn. Criminals are criminals because they dont follow laws right????

9:19 Mike Tilley:
I believe that background checks are essential to our continued rights to bear arms and as stated previously that no one in the industry wants a firearm in the hands of a bad guy.

9:19 Comment From Shawn
Bad guys will always to bad things, laws don't matter to those whom chose to break them. In my opinion, security is the only proven method to safeguard our society.

9:19 Comment From Grant Pridgen
Not only will criminals still find a way, "assault" & magazine bans will make upstanding citizens who actualy do what they can to defend the constitution will be made into criminals.

9:19 Comment From Shawn
I agree strongly with Mr. Tilley but I am hesitant to the language placed in the "Universal Background Check"

9:20 Comment From carolinashootersclub
background checks on private sales would be easier to swallow without the registration component

9:20 Comment From Brent
You have to get a pistol permit to buy a pistol from an individual or a shop in NC

9:20 Comment From Andrew
Why shawn? What part of universal background check do you have a problem with?

9:21 Mike Tilley:
We perform many private transfer for our patrons that wish to transfer a firearm from one legal owner to another. Responsible firearms owners do not want bad guys to have guns.

9:21 Comment From John
We are a gun crazed society and the ATF needs to better regulate this industry. Close the gun show and person to person loopholes.

9:21 Comment From Jonte
a universal background check is required for a ccw

9:21 Comment From Guest
@WRAL, you don't need to get a pistol purchase permit from the local Sheriff if you already have a concealed carry permit. Really, all you had to do was ask a non-Wake/Orange/Durham-County Sheriff what is required to purchase a pistol and they would have told you. See Sheriff Jimmy Thornton in Sampson county...

9:23 Comment From carolinashootersclub
the reporter (incorrectly) said pistol purchases had to be done at FFLs, but NC's laws are so hard to read on a good day that its an easy one to mess up

9:23 Comment From Brent
If you have a concealed carry permit you have already been vetted by the sheriffs dept.

9:24 Mike Tilley:
I have heard from some concerned that it is not the background check that they are opposed to but possible registration type records that may contribute to confiscation.

9:24 Comment From Guest
Mr. Tilley, in these private transfers, what sorts of action do you take to ensure the "bad guys" do not get guns?

9:24 Comment From JJ
The Justice Dept. determined that the previous assault weapon ban had no effect. Laws that prevent law abiding citizens from owning certain guns and magazines will only keep them from defending themselves. Criminals and the mentally unstable are not concerned with following laws.

9:25 Comment From Guest
Mike, Do you think the WRAL special was fair/balanced?

9:25 Comment From Vinnie
Universal background check refers to checking every firearms transfer, private or through an FFL.

9:26 Comment From John
Law Enforcement should be the only ones that should be able to carry guns.

9:26 Mike Tilley:
We run a instant back ground check for long guns and require a pistol permit of CCH license for a handgun as required by law, for all person to person transfers handled by us. All FFL dealers perform these services

9:27 Comment From JJ
Do you think that ‘soft targets’ play a major role? Most all of these mass shootings occur at places where guns are banned. I believe that the criminals would reconsider if they knew they would encounter resistance.

9:27 Comment From Guest
I have no problem with background checks, but don't care for required registration. I am also curious why there has been no mention that most if not all of these mass shootings have occurred in places that do not allow firearms even by concealed carry permit holders.

9:27 Comment From Guest
@WRAL please examine the use of the BIDS system instead of a national registration/check system. Ask Mike about that...

9:27 Comment From Shawn
Registration is a huge red flag, it is very much the preemption of "potential confiscation". Currently, the only public individuals that are nationally registered are sex offenders, why should gun owners be placed in the same perceived category.

9:28 Comment From KB
(John) If criminals obeyed the law, the only ones who would need guns are hunters...Law enforcement wouldn't.

9:28 Comment From gene
Okay if we need more backgroud checks then there needs to be a register for convited felonys to keep a check to insure they dont have any wepons

9:28 Mike Tilley:
I think the topic is very complex and that WRAL did a great job in presenting the material in time frame allowed. Hopefully it will spur continued investigation from all parties to hopefully lead us in the direction of minimizing chances of future senseless violence.

9:29 Comment From Andrew
the way I see it if someone turns up dead from a gunshot and you have a log you can save a I imagine large large sum of money by checking that registary. To me those who are law abiding have nothing to fear from checks and or a registry.

9:29 Comment From Guest
The same ATF that illegally handed over a couple thousand firearms to Mexican drug cartels can no longer be trusted to competently perform their mission. They should be defunded and dismantled and a new government agency - with all brand-new personnel, no recycles from ATF - formed and given clearly-defined mission parameters with the defense of the second amendment as Job #1.

9:29 Comment From Andrew
We also have registeries of who can drive a car, nothing is wrong with national databases. I again don't understand what those who are law abiding have to fear.

9:30 Comment From Shawn
I agree that WRAL presented a fair view into the subject and I am very impressed at some of the terminology used, "Assault style" versus "Assault Rifle"

9:30 Comment From Vinnie
I wish time had been allotted to explain just what these guns are, the difference between auto, semi-auto etc.

9:30 WRAL:
Vinnie, our special section includes this link to gun definitions from Slate: http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2012/12/the_gun_glossary_definitions_of_firearm_lingo_and_types_of_weapons.html

9:31 Mike Tilley:
I am afraid that we have a lot of lost and forgotten youth in our country who have an emptiness in them. The are hurting and angry and that we need to find better ways to reach them before the become the next bad man with a gun or car or bomb.

9:31 Comment From Hunter
Vinnie is correct, most people hear semi-auto and picture machine guns and rambo

9:32 WRAL:
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for participating tonight. We'll have another chat on Monday with Gail Neely, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence. Join us at 1 p.m. http://www.wral.com/hard-choices-chat-gail-neely-nc-against-gun-violence/12010809/

This story is part of WRAL's prime time special "Soft Targets, Hard Choices." We welcome your comments and questions. Send email to hardchoices@wral.com or use #hardchoices on Twitter.

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