Banning assault rifles not solution to gun violence, store owner says

An AR-15 assault rifle.

A gun dealer in Destin expects a strong federal push to ban assault rifles and an assortment of add-ons, but figured it would only increase the value of the guns without preventing the type of massacre that resulted in the death of 27 people, most of them first graders, in Newtown, Conn.

“Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country and they already have an assault rifle ban,” said Destin Guns owner Kurtis Kimsey.

He said there was no way to comprehend the shooting, to understand what would push someone to commit such a crime, but, “Definitely, there should be no access to firearms for mentally ill people.”

Police have said the suspect used guns legally owned by his mother, who he killed first.

“I think that the only way to defend against these shootings is to have armed security,” he added.

Kimsey said that there is no correlation between banning assault rifles and reduced violence, though gun control advocates draw the opposite conclusion.

He added there is strong correlation between banning a class of firearms and their price at gun stores. The weapons become instant collectibles.

“They’re going to get real expensive, real fast,” said Kimsey.

The inflation in price occurs when people start buying weapons before they become illegal to sell retail.

The former Marine said demographics are likely to play a strong role in attitudes toward what happened in Connecticut.

No one will dispute the viciousness of the crime, but gun control laws in the Deep South, including Northwest Florida, are unpopular, said Kimsey.