HOLLYWOOD (CBSMiami) – Gun sales have skyrocketed ahead of the president’s proposed executive actions to expand background checks and license most sellers.
“It’s not fear of crime, it’s fear of active shooters and what happened in France,” explains Walter Philbrick who runs the 911 gun store in Hollywood.
The executive actions the president is taking include: expanding background checks for those buying guns, updating the background checks system, boosting gun safety technology and providing more help to those with mental illnesses.
While he supports expanding background checks, Philbrick doesn’t believe it will stop a mass shooting.
“As a gun shop owner I want to sell to responsible and reliable people, so more background checks is good,” he said. “Most good guys who carry guns are responsible. It’s the bad guys who create problems.”
There were a record number of FDLE background checks for potential gun buyers done last month.
And more people in South Florida have concealed weapons permits than any other place in the state, meaning more are carrying guns.
Philbrick supports more focus on mental health screenings. So does lifelong NRA member Jim Cummings of Fort Lauderdale.
“It’s not who’s got the guns, it’s the people using them,” he explained. “We do little on review of mental capacity when they sell a gun.”
Cummings, who has testified before Congress on gun regulations, said background checks work and expanding checks will work even better.
“There have been over two-million sales stopped because of it. Loopholes need to be closed. If it saves one 10 year old, it’s worth it,” Cummings said.
So while South Florida gun store owners are trying to make sense of President Obama’s executive action on gun control, one thing is for sure – gun sales are soaring.
“In all honesty, Obama’s been the one of the best salesmen we’ve ever had,” said Gary Lampert, owner of National Armory Guns and Range in Pompano Beach. “Every time he would come up with a speech, within a week or two our gun sales would go up.”