POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - UPDATE:
Online response to our story about Oliver North’s expansion hopes for the National Rifle Association may have extended beyond the intended scope of the story and certainly beyond the comments made by Pocatello gun shop owner Joe Morrell.
Morrell clarified his position Tuesday. He said that while it is difficult to assure the mental-health reliability of the individuals seeking gun permits, he is still a firm believer in NRA policies and suspicious of unnecessary firearm regulations.
Morell believes his comments were taken out of context. Here is his statement:
"How the interview with "Old Town Gunslingers, Your 2nd Amendment Supply Store" could ever have been misconstrued into believing we would have said we were in favor of more strict gun laws is absolutely preposterous. I believe the way my position was presented might imply that and that is not the case.
Some of the statements in the story were part of a larger conversation and focused on the difficulty of developing any sort of rule that deals with mental health issues and the ownership of firearms.
I have no idea how those issues can be addressed without trampling on our second amendment rights.
My original statement was part of a larger conversation involving certain mental health issues and firearm ownership.
I am a firm believer in our 2nd amendment rights and will oppose any effort that might infringe upon them."
On Friday, incoming NRA President, Oliver North, said he wants to double NRA membership, from 6 million to 12 million.
Idaho ranks third in the nation when it comes to gun ownership percentage, at nearly 57, behind only Arkansas and Alaska.
The second amendment is something that both the GOP and Idahoans strongly value.
In the Gem State, you don't need a license for a handgun or rifle, you just need to pass an instant background check, something that usually takes no more than 15 minutes. Once the check is done, and if you pass, you can walk out of the store a gun owner.
In Pocatello, Gunslinger's provides customers with their firearms needs. Offering everything, aside from fully automatic weapons.
One of the more popular items in the store is the AR-15, and its many variations. The semi-automatic rifle has become associated with acts of gun violence over the past few years, though it is no different than a standard rifle in anything but its appearance.
The AR-15, like all semi-automatic weapons, is a single fire weapon, meaning you must pull the trigger each time you wish to shoot. People often affiliate it with the M16, with which it shares a body style.
Another thing that comes up with gun safety all the time is mental health. When filling out a form to purchase a gun. If someone says they have a history of mental health issues on the form, they can not sell that person a gun. But as Gunslinger's owner Joseph Morrell said, "it's also a question they could lie on."
This article has been re-edited after further review.