Mixed Response to President Obama's Gun Proposals at Pompano Beach's National Armory

Customers were cool to Obama's comments about banning assault rifles, but agreed with him on beefed-up background checks

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    South Floridians are reacting to President Obama's gun proposals. Roberto Del Valle and others react. (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013)

    As President Barack Obama was pitching his gun control plan on national television, gun sales were at a fever pitch at National Armory in Pompano Beach.

    "I am loading up on ammo as fast as I can before the ban comes," John Woods said.

    The crowd in the store was having none of the president's talk Wednesday about banning assault rifles and high-volume ammunition magazines like the ones used in the Newtown, Connecticut school shooting.

    But there were several points that customers endorsed.

    Mixed Response to President Obama's Gun Proposals at Pompano Beach's National Armory

    [MI] Mixed Response to President Obama's Gun Proposals at Pompano Beach's National Armory
    Gun sales were at a fever pitch at National Armory as the president made his new proposals. Judy Dick, Jim Woods, Theresa De Lorenzo, Alexandria Green, Fernando Palacio and store owner Jeff Dillard gave their opinions on the issues. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013)

    "We don’t want crazies, you know, we have to be sane," Theresa De Lorenzo said.

    "These are very detrimental, these are very dangerous things in the wrong hands," she added.

    Some Floridians Concerned About Possible Quick Changes in Gun Laws

    [MI] Some Floridians Concerned About Possible Quick Changes in Gun Laws
    In an email chain, Florida residents and at least one gun dealer expressed their concerns about quick changes in gun laws that would restrict the ability to gain weapons. Gun dealers say in the week since the tragedy in Connecticut, gun sales have increased. Jeff Dillard of National Armory spoke about that issue with NBC 6. (Published Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012)

    Obama unveiled the most sweeping proposals for curbing gun violence in two decades, pressing lawmakers to approve universal background checks and bans on military-style assault weapons.

    He also enacted 23 executive orders that do not require Congress’ approval.

    Sales Have Soared at Pompano Beach Gun Store: Owner

    [MI] Sales Have Soared at Pompano Beach Gun Store Since Connecticut Shooting: Owner
    Since Friday's Connecticut school shooting, "Our gun sales, we've noticed in the last three days, have soared out of sight," said Jeff Dillard of National Armory in Pompano Beach. He said there is no way of knowing everything about a gun buyer. "The problem with the crime check is it doesn't include any mental health issues that person may have, because of the HIPPA law," he said. (Published Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012)

    Folks at National Armory agreed with Obama on beefed-up background checks.

    Store owner Jim Dillard said he has lobbied long and hard for better background checks and a process to easily warn police about gun buyers with issues.

    "For civilians doing private sales to have to go through a background check, we agree with it,” Dillard said.

    Away from the gun shop, the sentiment seemed to reflect national polls concerning gun control. A majority favors some type of bans on assault weapons.

    "Having a weapon that could shoot off 30 rounds in a matter of seconds, really I don’t think it’s necessary in society,” Fernando Palacio said.

    Roberto del Valle, who is a nurse by day and a gun enthusiast by night, said he was pleasantly surprised by Obama's proposals.

    "I did believe that it was going to be more radical than the propositions that were made," said del Valle, who has a collection of more than 20 weapons. "I was very surprised that they were mostly aligned with what most people think are good rules and regulations."

    But Obama’s call for a new ban on assault weapons and magazines of more than 10 rounds would be an infringement on Second Amendment rights, he said.

    ”The Second Amendment is there to protect me from tyranny. The intent of the Second Amendment was for the citizens to have the same amount of weaponry that the regular army had,” del Valle said.

    Meantime, Miami Police said they will hold their first gun buy back operation of the year the next three Saturdays. Any firearm can be dropped off, no questions asked, and participants will receive a gift certificate.

    All three events will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The first will be this Saturday, Jan. 19 at Jordan Grove Baptist Church at 5946 NW 12th Ave.

    The second event will be on Saturday, Jan. 26 at St. John Baptist Church at 1328 NW 3rd Ave., and the final event will be Feb. 2 at San Juan Bosco Church at 1301 W. Flagler St.

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