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Letters: Will stores' gun policy changes help?

Johnson City Press • Sep 15, 2019 at 6:00 AM

With this week’s Question of the Week, we asked readers for their opinions on chain stores’ firearms policy changes after mass shootings this year. Here are some responses we received.

Policies are political ploys

I am a gun owner and shooter for the past 75 years and have never injured any person.

I am a military veteran with many years service and never had to shoot another person.

Guns do not shoot by themselves whether a single shot, shotgun, bolt action rifle, lever action rifle, handgun or any semi-automatic rifle or handgun.

There is always a person (sane or deranged) who pulls the trigger to injure or kill the target.

Walmart and the other retailers who have promulgated the restrictions are being bullied by the left-wing anti-gun crowd for purely partisan political points. Management of these companies need to examine their policies more carefully so that they do not alienate such a large percentage of their customer base, which the recent pronouncements have done.

JOHN COHOON
Johnson City

Changes will not stop shootings

I found it laughable that Walmart and others would ban open carry of firearms and stop selling .223 ammo.

As for open carry, I have only noticed one or two times that someone was carrying open. For someone to open carry, I think they are lacking in certain things and trying to compensate. If I was going to commit a crime with a firearm, the person with the open carry would be the first I would take out. That is just obvious. All open carry will do is scare someone into complaining to the store, and then handguns are banned altogether.

To stop selling .223 ammo because of a short-barreled rifle is ridiculous. A short-barreled rifle has a barrel less than 16 inches and an overall length of less than 26 inches. I own a .223 rifle with a 26-inch barrel (bolt action), so punish me. There are so many places to buy ammo that this is no more than a political statement. It will not stop the terrible shootings one bit.

The .223 either in an AR (AR stands for armalite, which first made the rifle in the 1950s, it does not stand for automatic rifle or assault rifle as so many believe) or in a bolt action or single action is one of the most popular firearms in the country.

TERRY DIXON
Johnson City

Gun owners support reasonable policies

I am a gun owner and supporter of our Second Amendment, but I am not a Second Amendment fanatic. Reasonable gun ownership requirements and policies are supported by most gun owners.

I applaud the chain stores' desire to do something in an effort to reduce gun violence. However, anyone with gun knowledge knows that the larger percentage of major gun violence incidents involve weapons based on the design of military-style assault rifles (ARs), not handguns. These ARs are capable of handling large ammunition magazines that allow the shooter to fire many bullets without reloading. Arguably, these types of rifles are the ones that the policy changers should be evaluating.

Limiting handgun ammunition will have minimal effect on major gun violence incidents. Handgun ammunition can be purchased in many other places. Additionally, the vast majority of handgun owners are responsible individuals.

I am not aware of any local chain store that has police officers patrolling the store. A responsible handgun carrier is another layer of security to you and your family should some "crazy" with a rifle walk into the store you are shopping at.

DAVE WOLONICK
Johnson City

Stores invite trouble with change

Your stores would be the best places for a shooter or robber to show up with no one to stop them, then they could have a field day.

Just look at Sullivan County. The man shot his wife in the dentist’s office, and had it not been an armed patient there, it probably would have been more people killed.

So, go ahead and invite the bad people in.

JOHN BENNETT
Washington County

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