OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – President Joe Biden presented his ideas for gun reform Thursday after a string of high-profile mass shootings in the country. In Oklahoma, the debate rages on between citizens and organizations on whether it’s necessary.
“We need to actually have some action happen soon,” said Joshua Harris-Till, a member of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Thoughts and prayers have not done enough to curb gun violence.”
“Far as we’re concerned, the president can just go pound sand,” said Don Spencer, president of the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association.
“Gun violence in this country is an epidemic,” Biden said in his speech.
The main points of Biden’s speech included national red flag laws. These laws would allow people to petition courts to stop individuals suffering from a crisis from getting a gun. Also, mentioned was tightened restrictions on stabilizing braces like the one used by the Colorado shooter on a pistol. Another main point was so called “ghost guns.” These are guns that can be bought and put together from kits, which don’t have serial numbers or require a background check to purchase.
“No matter how long it takes, we’re going to get this passed,” Biden said. “We’re not going to give up.”
Spencer and the Oklahoma Second Amendment Association said they are not interested in the change.
“We’re just going to ignore the unconstitutional federal effort to any kind of infringement on our rights,” Spencer said. “The government has no business being involved in it.”
However, gun reform activist Joshua Harris-Till said he and his family have been victims of gun violence. He said he is even a gun owner himself, but feels that gun reform is necessary.
“My little brother, who’s at home right now, felt a bullet enter his body at the age of 10 years old,” he said. “We’re not arguing for banning guns, we’re arguing for common sense.”
Spencer said there are two bills pending in the Oklahoma Legislature at this time that he said would give the state the choice if they wanted to listen to Biden’s reform or not.
“Both tell the United States government to back out of our state with your unconstitutional actions,” Spencer said. “The attorney general can make a determination of whether or not it’s legitimate or not and whether we’re going to pay attention to it. Far as we’re concerned, the president can just go pound sand.”
Harris-Till said he and the group he is a part of, Everytown for Gun Safety, want to see state legislation like universal background checks in every case, including private sales.
“I believe that anybody who wants to have a gun should be able to have a gun as long as they are qualified to do it,” he said.
“It’s not of the government’s business, as long as I know you’re not a felon, when I’m selling you a gun,” Spencer said.
Spencer went as far as to say that the legislation would be ignored.
“We’re just going to ignore the unconstitutional federal effort to any kind of infringement on our rights,” he said.
However, Biden held firm that the Second Amendment is not being infringed upon.
“They’re phony arguments, suggesting that these are Second Amendment rights at stake, what we’re talking about,” he said. “But no amendment, no Amendment to the Constitution is absolute.”
Biden also mentioned forming an up-to-date study regarding illegal gun trafficking soon.