Gun seller reacts to proposed gun show background checks

Gun seller reacts to proposed gun show background checks

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L-R: Johnny Walker speaks with reporter Jonathan Hardison about the proposed expanded background checks. Source: WRBC video L-R: Johnny Walker speaks with reporter Jonathan Hardison about the proposed expanded background checks. Source: WRBC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

If Congress passes anything new on gun control this year, this compromise is probably the closest we've seen so far to what that new gun control will look like.

Conservative Senators from both parties unveiled a compromise plan to extend background checks to more gun sales. The NRA is still shooting it down, saying the plan fails to address the core issues of gun violence.

So what do the gun show dealers and law enforcement think of the plan?

Jonny Walker has been in the gun selling business for more than 30 years, and though he has a big storefront at Birmingham Pistol Wholesale, he also does a lot of business at gun shows, where buyers don't currently have to go through background checks.

That would change under the Congressional compromise announced Wednesday, but Walker is OK with that.

"Initially it may have some impact on the gun shows, but in the long run, I don't think it'll have very much impact at all," Walker said.

The tradeoff for the expanded background checks at gun shows and online is a ban on any future federal gun owners registry.

Walker did almost half of his business this month online, but says this is a good compromise.

"Yeah that's a good tradeoff, and I'm not against background checks because I think every person should care to not trade a gun to someone who's mentally unstable or will use the gun in a crime," he said.

"From a law enforcement standpoint, I think that's a good thing," said Chief Deputy Randy Christian of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. "I think that's arm-in-arm with public safety. If you can find a way to close a loophole so there's background checks where we can find out whether there's a criminal background or mental illness background, and those are 2 of the things that scare us the most on owning a firearm, then I think that's a good day."

President Obama released a statement late today saying he would prefer some parts of this proposal to be stricter, but he's glad to see some movement on the issue. The Senate could vote on this issue as early as Thursday.

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