Firearms Sales Rise As Gun Control Debate Heats Up

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There are 13 days until President Obama is sworn in for the second time, and many gun owners fear that also means only 13 days are left to buy the firearms they want.

Vice President Biden's task force is gaining momentum with gun control proposals, while gun activists have plans of their own.

Pat Spreng bought her first gun with a deadline in mind.

"We took action now so that we could have a gun because we feel we should be able to have one," Spreng said at Total Firearms in Holt.

Like many people, she was motivated by President Obama's call for gun control legislation, afraid it might limit her purchasing power.

"It would appear that President Obama is one of the best gun salesmen in the country," Total Firearms Manager Don LaMothe said. "Any time you have a politician, especially the Commander in Chief, talking about banning something, then people get nervous, and they want to run out and purchase that."

There's even an organized even for it: National Gun Appreciation Day. It's planned for two days before President Obama's inauguration, and everyone is encouraged to visit gun stores and shooting ranges.

Gun control supporters say it's time to put politics aside.

"People have every right to support the second amendment, but that needs to go hand in hand though with the first three words of the second amendment which are 'a well-regulated,'" Executive Director of Progress Michigan Zack Pohl said. "I hope the politicians in Lansing and Washington can come to together. We need some common sense proposals that are going to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, and keep communities safe."

Gun activists argue it's more gun education that's needed.

"I think everybody has a god-given right to defend themselves, and people have a right to learn how to do so," LaMothe said.

Spreng and her husband plan to get more information, and probably make a purchase before the inauguration.

"I think as we both learn on the range, he'll choose the one that's best for him," Spreng said. "I'll probably buy it for him as a gift."

LaMothe said every day is gun appreciation day at Total Firearms, and they support the national effort.

Vice President Biden's gun control efforts could include things like reestablishing the ban on assault weapons and limiting the size of magazines. They're also considering requiring universal background checks for all gun buyers, and a national database that would track the sale and movement of guns.

Pohl said Progress Michigan supports those proposals, especially when it comes to the ban and background checks.

Gun activists believe those measures won't keep the weapons out of the hands of criminals.

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