WARE, Mass. (WWLP) - President Obama's proposal to tighten the nation's gun control laws is generating a lot of support, but it has also created a lot of criticism.
In a televised ceremony Wednesday where he signed 23 executive orders, the President called for Congress to pass universal background checks, and ban military-style semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The idea of additional restrictions found some support here in western Massachusetts.
"I'm not against guns, but in my opinion, people can have rifles and they can have handguns. But they don't need assault rifles, and they don't need 30-100 clips, they do not need that. It's not necessary, unless you're going to kill people," Tammy Novak of Ware said.
"I find it kind of funny that I can go to Walmart and to get Sudafed, I have to sign my life away and present ID, but I can go home and buy as much ammunition as I want, with no problems," Jay Freeman of Ware said. "There needs to be some way to regulate how much ammo you can buy."
Still, gun control has long come under criticism from those who say that it erodes Americans' rights under the 2nd Amendment.
The proposed gun regulations are the most ambitious our country has seen in decades, but because Massachusetts already has some of the strictest gun, laws, local gun store owners are hoping they don't notice a difference.
West Springfield's Guns Inc. General Manager Philip Marcil isn't worried about business, but is worried that the President's proposals don't target the problem.
"Why weren't the guns secured? How did they obtain the guns that they didn't have rights to possess? That's what I think needs to be addressed," Marcil said.
Others also think that the government is not looking at the problem the right way.
"Whatever they do will not work, in my opinion, because no one is talking about protecting the kids. It's all about guns, it's not about the kids," Frank Belisle of Belchertown said.
The executive orders signed by the President included appointing a director to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firerarms, and ordering agencies to make more data available for background checks. The President's $500 million plan also calls for training more mental health professionals to deal with kids who may be at risk.