Wake County residents react to Pres. Biden's plan to combat gun violence

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Local gun owners and people who've witnessed gun violence are reacting to President Joe Biden's first actions to try and curb the violence across the U.S.

"A lot of people know what a gun does, but they don't realize what the effects are until it's too late," said Savannah Williams, a Wake County resident and landlord.

Williams has witnessed gun violence up close.

"Someone actually was shot on one of my properties," she said. "It made me feel like I had to do a better job at monitoring things and keeping an eye out for certain things that would have caused it or maybe would have prevented the actual incident happening."

Victims of gun violence and gun control advocates were invited to the Rose Garden Thursday where Biden, referring to the issue as a "public health crisis" and "epidemic," revealed six steps his administration is taking that don't need congressional approval.

Biden has directed the Justice Department to issue a proposed rule that would rein in so-called "ghost guns," that are essentially homemade, built from a kit containing all the necessary parts and directions.

The rule would require the seller and manufacturer to make key parts with serial numbers and run background checks on anyone buying a kit.

A man from Apex was in Raleigh Thursday, picking up his gun permit at the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

"There are some cases where people do misuse the weapons," said the man who did not want to be identified. "But I think most of the gun violence is probably because of pistols and rifles that aren't registered and people have gotten them at another means and not gone through the proper channels."

The gun owner said he agreed with Biden's ghost guns measure, but referred to Biden's call for firearms that are modified with stabilizing braces to be subject to the National Firearms Act, as an overreach.

"A stabilizing brace hooked in a pistol essentially makes that pistol a hell of a lot more accurate than a mini rifle," Biden said. "As a result, it's more lethal, effectively turning it into a short-barreled rifle. That's what the alleged shooter in Boulder appears to have done."

The president also said he wants a national Red Flag law in place and has directed the DOJ to publish a model Red Flag law to make it easier for states to adopt their own.

Gov. Roy Cooper has called on the General Assembly to pass a Red Flag law in North Carolina that would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to restrict a person's access to firearms if they're deemed an extreme risk to themselves or others.

"In theory that sounds like a good idea, but I think that could end up being misused," said the Wake County gun owner. "Well, maybe the person's really not mentally unstable, maybe their spouse is mad at them about something. Those types of things. It could get a little bit out of control in my opinion."

Biden's other actions include publishing a new annual report on gun trafficking and making investments in community violence intervention programs.

Biden also announced he will nominate David Chipman to serve as Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), which hasn't had a confirmed director since 2015.
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