Local authorities react to President's gun control proposals - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Local authorities react to President Obama’s gun control proposals

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Local authorities weigh-in on gun control. Local authorities weigh-in on gun control.

(Toledo News Now) – On Wednesday, President Obama announced his extensive $500 million plan for regulations to prevent future gun violence.

Later the same day, local authorities voiced their opinions on the matter.

Oregon Police Chief Mike Navarre stood behind the new safety proposals. He agreed that there should be universal background checks to close existing loopholes, and said although he has nothing against responsible gun owners, he would like as many guns off the streets as possible.

When he was chief of the Toledo police, Navarre had to deal with assault weapons, and he expressed support of the proposed ban against them.

"That just isn't needed out there," he said. "That is for fighting wars. We are not fighting wars [while] protecting our person and protecting our homes."

But Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn was not as enthusiastic. According to him, all the gun laws in the world will not prevent gun violence, and there is no way to enforce universal background checks.

"We have had other people who have had neighbors, girlfriends buy guns for them and they pass the background check," he explained. "Then they do the transaction for that person and thereby bypassing any type of a background check."

He believes more laws will only make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, and tighter restrictions will only create a black market for criminals to trade guns back and forth.

"I guess if you enact strict legislation, the president is going to feel good, the vice president will feel good, maybe some congressmen are going to feel good," Wasylyshyn said. "From a practical standpoint, are they going to have the guns on the street? Absolutely."

The sheriff said the focus needs to be on mental health, and making sure people with mental issues can be recognized and properly treated to avoid them committing acts of violence.

More information on Obama's gun plan.

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