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Some firearms owners in Valley are up in arms over handgun bill

Published: Sun, May 24, 2009 @ 4:45 p.m.

By Jon Moffett

YOUNGSTOWN — Kenny Graft doesn’t fear guns. He respects them.

The 54-year-old New Middletown man grew up with firearms and owned his first at age 11. His business, Shooting Star Firearms in New Middletown, sells to hunters and sport shooters, Graft said.

But he believes a bill in Congress would limit his ability to sell firearms to his clientele.

The Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 would require a license to own a handgun or semi-automatic firearm. Currently no license is required to own a handgun in Ohio. The bill would also require current handgun owners to become certified, or risk losing their property.

The bill was submitted by U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., in January. The bill has no co-sponsors and was referred to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.

The bill came about in response to the fatal shooting of Blair Holt, a 16-year-old student in Chicago. He was killed by gunfire in a gang-related attack on May 10, 2007. Holt moved to shield another student while riding a school bus and was fatally shot.

The bill has become a fixture in e-mails forwarded throughout the Internet. Web sites such as Snopes.com have fact-checked the e-mails and the bill and said some seemingly onerous aspects – such as the fear that the bill would force gun owners to submit to a physical and mental evaluation at any time – are unfounded.

Though the bill is not expected to get out of committee, it still leaves Graft up in arms. He believes guns are being unfairly targeted.

“You’ve got to wonder if it’s not the government’s personal agenda for guns and crime,” he said. “A lot of [the bill] has nothing to do with crime. Unfortunately, I think it’s a path our government is taking”

He added that the government should focus less on making new laws and more on enforcement.

“My take on law is we have enough laws; we don’t need to add more restrictions to honest people,” Graft said. “We have more laws on the books than we’ll ever need right now.”

Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.


1Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

They want guns to be solely in the realm of the professionals, the criminals and the police. If they remain in the hands of the law abiding the criminals may either get killed or severely wounded . This must be prevented at all costs .

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2gmann415(268 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

i thought it was the criminals that we are supposed to get the guns off of. so why are they going after law abiding people. why should we have to pay the price for thugs? my father told me 25yrs ago that there is going to come a time when only two groups of people are going to have guns. the police and the thugs. and sure enough its comming true. why dont we just become like russia i mean heck were 3/4 of the way there now.

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3NoBS(2263 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

The liberals are afraid of guns, and don't want anybody to have them. Unfortunately, the only people who will listen to any new law restricting gun ownership is the honest people who aren't the problem. The thugs and criminals will continue to carry them concealed without a permit (gasp!) and carry them where the law prohibits (double gasp!) and even use them to rob honest people who cannot carry their guns into certain establishments because of idiotic laws (O horrors!).

Gmann, your father was a wise man. I guess, to the extent of the anti-2-A laws that the libs want, I'll be a thug.

"From my cold, dead hands!"

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4comeandtakeit(10 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I bet the gun that was used in this crime was purchased legally, get real. How dumb are people to buy into this garbage? The people who commit these crimes are not going to the gun store to get these weapons, so what is the point of requiring a license, if we give anything more they will take them away for good. Then we won’t have to worry about the criminals, we will have to worry about the government.

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5olepops45(39 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

comeandtakeit, direct and to the point!!!
I worry about the government each time they come up with another inane bill/law like this one.
That has been happening each time encroachment of our freedoms is allowed, long before most of us were born.

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6joebag09(298 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

Another law that will not correct the problem! BUT, it will make the government look, to some, like they are trying to do something. Here's a wild idea.... enforce the freak'n laws you have on the books now....stop all this plea bargain BS....make these criminals pay.

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7cambridge(3378 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

joebag09 I'm going to have to agree with you on that plea bargain point. They plea bargain a 20 year crime to 10 years and they end up serving half of that. They plea bargain because the courts are backed up but the courts are backed up because the same criminals keep getting out 15 years too early.

I don't know if you have ever been to New Mexico or Nevada but believe me it's hundreds of square miles of nothing in all directions. They need to build a giant prison let the prisoners grow their own food and forget about them They really couldn't escape because there is no place to go.

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8commoncents(53 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

I am a deer hunter. I have been since I was 20 years old. I have one registered rifle for hunting. I don't need a whole collection to hunt, and I certainly don't need a handgun to hunt. I don't fear government confiscation of guns when they want us to register them. I certainly don't fear a government takeover. If the government were to try to take over, we would need a lot more than guns in the house! What I DO fear is ANY ignorant clod - criminal or "honest" redneck - owning high-capacity, semi-automatic assault weapons for "protection" or "hunting, or carrying concealed handguns for "protection." That is BS and dangerous!... the same way letting a chronic drunk who thinks a few six-packs don't count is dangerous behind the wheel of a car. We all need to be more sensible and reasonable.

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9olepops45(39 comments)posted 6 years, 3 months ago

to commoncents: You obviously did a fine job amending your concept of the bill. It said nothing about high capacity assult weapons. I am glad you are so willing to give up your right to bear arms, the government counts on people like you to pass more idiot laws.

Many legitimite hunters I know own semi-auto shotguns as a bird hunter. Semi-auto 22cal. rifles are often used for varmit control and target shooting.
The Blair Holt’s Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2009 would require a license to own a handgun or semi-automatic firearm. Currently no license is required to own a handgun in Ohio. The bill would also require current handgun owners to become certified, or risk losing their property.

As stated in several of the other comments, the criminal element won't be affected by this law. The police do their job to enforce laws, but the judicial system keeps releasing the thugs on society.
Personally, I will keep my gun as it is my constitutional right to do so. Break into my home and I'll explain it in a way that is direct and to the point. You won't need a cop to explain your rights.

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