Local gun supporters reflect on future gun control action

by Stacy

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCIV) -- President Barack Obama on Wednesday{}announced plans to make gun control recommendations to Congress. He said Vice President Joe Biden will lead the group and will present its plans in January.

Arlyn Pendergast, owner of ATP Gun Shop and Range, said his sales this week are more than double normal holiday sales.

"They're worried the gun legislation will keep them from owning the guns," Pendergast said.

Chas Dobes was buying a hunting rifle for his wife for Christmas on Wednesday. He said anyone had a right to own a gun. But, he also said he supported a ban on assault weapons.

"A lot of people use handguns to keep in their house or their car and shotguns for hunting, but assault weapons are a little different story. It seems a little overkill," Dobes said.

Pendergast disagreed. The National Rifle Association owner said owning guns kept people safe.

"The only thing that keeps us strong is our freedoms. One of our freedoms is our right to keep and bear arms," he said.

Pendergast said{}better mental health screenings would prevent guns from getting in the wrong hands and{}more tragedies like that at Sandy Hook.

"Mentally unstable people should be on list that they can't get guns. But the trouble with our laws is they can't be put on the list because that's discrimination," he said.

For his part, Dobes said no one considered his mental health when he applied for his concealed weapons permit. Because he has the permit, ATP can forego an FBI background check when he buys guns.

"Other than asking questions about general gun ownership and safety, there were no mental health questions," Dobes said.

The NRA announced it would make "meaningful contributions" to ensure something like the Connecticut shootings never happen again. The organization said it would hold a news conference on Friday.