Local gun shop owner says culture, not guns, to blame for violence

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – A Topeka gun shop owner believes gun control will not stop gun violence. Troy Showalter is the owner of Integrity Gun and Pawn. He said violence in television and other media are to blame for mass shootings, not guns.

“If you turn on the television pretty much anytime after 6 o’clock, you can see things that would’ve been not allowed back when I was growing up,” said Showalter.

Showalter said guns have stayed consistent while gun violence is on the rise. People’s reaction to guns, however, have changed. He said they used to see a rise in gun sales after a mass shooting.

“People feared gun control or confiscation a year ago coming in to an election year. This year we have almost none of that,” said Showalter.

On the other hand, Rep. Jim Gartner (D-Topeka) believes there are many things that lawmakers can do to curb gun violence. While he respects the second amendment, he said he would support a statewide ban on weapons like the gunman used in the recent mass shooting in Texas.

“I just question why someone would need an AR-15 to go hunting. It just doesn’t make sense to me,” said Gartner.

However, Gartner said state law can only do so much, For example, there are differences between gun laws in Texas and here in Kansas. Texans need a permit to concealed carry. Kansans do not.

That’s one of the reasons Gartner said reform needs to come from Washington D.C.

“Background checks. There are people that are mentally ill. There are people on the no fly list that can go out and buy a gun,” said Gartner.

Still, Gartner believes that if a person truly wants to buy a firearm they will find a way.


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