Gun Shop Owner Reacts to Gun Proposals

By: Carly Stephenson Email
By: Carly Stephenson Email

HARRISONBURG, Va. -- Governor Bob McDonnell is reviewing recommendations from the school and campus safety task force.

It's all part of an executive order to look at school and campus safety.

One of the initial recommendations would enforce stricter straw buying penalties.

Straw man purchases are when a person with a clear background buys a gun for someone who can't legally purchase it themself.
Ashby Arms owner Dennis Golden said that he and other gun dealers are trained to know when a person is trying to break the law.

Straw man purchases are punishible as a felony in Virginia that can lead to one to ten years behind bars.

The task force's proposal increases that punishment to a mandatory punishment of one year for the purchaser of the gun.

It also adds on a mandatory 10 year punishment for the person who can't legally buy the gun if there are more fire arms.

Golden said he would support a stricter penalty. When someone comes into his shop looking to buy, there are certain things he looks out for.

"If someone isn't exactly familiar with a type of firearm they are looking for they will come in and just request a firearm and not really know what they're buying. The Virginia State police provided a lot of training and guidance for dealers and employees how to prevent straw purchases and how to recognize them," Golden said.

Golden said he doesn't want guns getting into the wrong hands but there are also privacy issues that have to be respected.

As a gun shop owner, he also supports allowing for better background checks as it relates to mental health.

There are 24 total recommendations, and the Governor's task force will have a final report by the end of June.

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