LUBBOCK, Texas — The recent mass shootings have put pressure on the Biden administration to take action against gun violence. On Thursday, President Biden announced a number of executive actions on gun reform.
While many agree that these changes are necessary to keep us safe, many also feel that they infringe on our second amendment rights.
“What he’s trying to pass, first off, it won’t have any bearing on safety at all,” said gun owner Jim Baxa. “And second off, they’re completely unconstitutional.”
Some of the actions include creating tighter regulations around ‘ghost guns’ — which are guns assembled from kits that don’t have serial numbers and can’t be tracked.
“Ghost guns haven’t been used in a massive amount of crimes,” said Lonestar Shooting Sports owner Thomas Larson. “Honest people are going to do things, honestly anyway. People that want to circumvent the law, are always going to find ways to circumvent the law.”
However, some gun reform advocates like Jen Shelton with Moms Demand Action, disagree.
“Getting rid of ghost guns that criminals use is not going to affect law abiding gun owners at all,” said Shelton. “It’s just going to make them safer.”
Biden is also directing the Justice Department to publish red flag legislation that can be adapted by states. This would allow family or police to report red flags for a person who is at risk of owning a gun because they might hurt themselves or others.
“Whose standard is it that someone has a red flag?” said Baxa. “If the government’s setting that up, that’s a scary thing to give the government power over the people who are there to check the government’s power.”
Shelton said that red flags could help prevent suicides.
“One of the things that a red flag law can do is to help take somebody who is suicidal, and just keep them from hurting themselves for a few days, until they can get some help until there can be some effective intervention,” she said.
Gun rights advocates said this ultimately infringes on second amendment rights and could make things more dangerous for all of us.
“I don’t know that there’s anything we can do to prevent mass shootings,” said Larson. “Unfortunately, if you take away guns, they’re gonna find something else to use.”
However, Shelton said that changes like these could have a lasting impact.
“If we study these issues more, and we put people in charge, who you know, know what they’re doing, and who care about our law enforcement officers and care about that public safety, then I think that we can, we can do things that really will make the whole society safer,” said Shelton.