Mass shooting spurs gun control legislation in PA

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SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY, Pa. -- In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, many are asking if background checks should raise a red flag to prevent some people from buying a gun.

It's a question two U.S. senators from Pennsylvania answered by introducing legislation to make it more difficult for terrorists or those convicted of hate crimes to gain access to firearms.

At Freedom Armory, both customers and staff take their Second Amendment rights very seriously.

Most people may agree that anyone who's an American wants to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, but how the country should do that is where the discussion begins.

Two senators introduced legislation with the hope of preventing mass shootings like the one in Orlando by flagging suspected terrorists during a gun store background check.

Freedom Armory owner Scott Morris said "we don't care what you do to the terrorists, we'd just as soon see them hang in the town square, it's all about the law abiding american citizens that we're concerned about."

Preserving our right to bear arms is as important to some people as is keeping firearms away from suspected terrorists.

Gun owner Steve Douglass said "they should be at the front of the line as a person that's not going to be able to buy a gun, and I'm not understanding why someone who's on a terror watch list is running around free, in the first place."

Douglass has an issue with the effectiveness of watch-lists.

"As someone who was on the no-fly list at one time, and i was, along with Ted Kennedy at the time, they're worthless, absolutely worthless," Douglass said.

"I don't think you or I want to have their name put on a watch list, when they're innocent, and then deny their rights, and then you have to hire lawyers and go to court just to be able to get your name cleared. So, you're guilty until proven innocent," Morris said.

"Anybody can come up with a name and stick on a list, we want to know that the list has some validity, and if it's got validity, why aren't you going after them," Morris added.

New legislation proposes to make it more difficult for anyone on a terror watch list or convicted of a hate crime, to be able to walk into a gun store and buy a firearm.

"If you've been investigated by the FBI for terror, no, you should never be able to buy a gun," Douglass said.

"If the bureaucrats can do something they've never done to date, and prove to us that it is a system that works then I'd think you'd find people would stand behind it ," Morris said.

In Orlando, it wasn't a background check but the alert staff at one gun shop in Orlando which had turned the shooter away.

"We have a responsibility to do what's right, and we want to do what's right. The question is being able to identify a situation which causes us to do that, but dealers across the country in many different ways do that every day of their life," Morris said.

"We think about those things every time somebody comes to the counter. We have customers that we know, that are established, and we have a feel for those, but every time we have somebody new, what's going through our mind is 'is this a legitimate activity here,'" Morris added.

Democratic senator Bob Casey and Republican senator Pat Toomey both addressed the issue this week.
Casey's hate crime prevention act focuses on people convicted of hate crimes, while Toomey's bill states it would prevent terrorists, from obtaining firearms or explosives.

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