Local officials weigh in on gun control issue
Dec 21, 2012 at 2:04 PM
So far, the conversation seems to circle around three points: assault weapons; high-capacity magazines; and more extensive background checks for hopeful gun owners.
The Register asked a number of local law enforcement leaders to weigh in, specifically on these three issues.
Here are the responses on assault rifles. For what the officials said on magazine capacity and background checks, pick up a copy of Friday's Register.
Perkins Police Chief Ken Klamar
Assault Rifles: "I can't say banning them completely would be the answer. It's kind of a knee-jerk reaction. These weapons have been around now for decades and now it's a matter of playing catchup. Who could say that those incidents would have ended differently if they had a pistol or shotgun?"
Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung
Assault Rifles: "We tried it in 1994 and I don't think there's any empirical data that showed it worked. There are 300 million guns in the country and it took 200 years to put them there. They're not going away overnight. I could teach you how to build an AR-15 from spare parts in 30 minutes. Talk of banning assault rifles is more political grandstanding than it is an effective response."
Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth
Assault Weapons: "All guns in irresponsible hands can kill people. You can have somebody with a single-shot .22-caliber rifle, and if their mindset is to kill somebody, they're going to kill somebody. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible."
Huron Police Chief Robert Lippert
Assault Rifles:"Personally, I'm not in favor of a total ban on assault rifles."
Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick
Assault Rifles: "I'm not completely against restrictions on assault rifles. If putting a ban on assault rifles were the one thing that could save the lives of these murder victims, then it needs to be done. But if it's a band-aid or some sort of political move, then it's a bad move."
Norwalk police Chief Dave Light
Assault Rifles:"If I could click my heels together three times and make all the handguns and weapons just disappear, that would be great. The problem is we have millions and millions and millions of guns in our country. It's our society. It's like everything else -- unless they put some thought into it and carefully have some gun experts involved and do it the right way, there are so many loopholes and ways around everything."
Sandusky assistant police Chief John Orzech
Assault Rifles: "I can't see any good that comes out of owning assault rifles. I think (someone) could do just as much damage with the weapons (they) have. As far as handguns and shotguns go, that's what our constitution is founded on. Most people who have guns are responsible."