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President’s executive action on guns draws varied reactions in Arizona

President Barack Obama speaks in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2016, about steps his administration is taking to reduce gun violence. Also on stage are stakeholders, and individuals whose lives have been impacted by the gun violence. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

President Obama’s executive actions on gun safety Tuesday has one Arizona group praising his actions, while a firearms dealer is unsure what the future holds for the occasional gun seller.

The group Arizonans for Gun Safety said 40 percent of all gun sales are unregulated, which makes it easy for criminals, domestic violence abusers and the mentally ill to obtain guns. The group’s founder, Gerry Hills, told KTAR News’ Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes that the president’s order brings about smart regulations for gun dealers without a federal firearm license, or FFL.

“Gun dealers who are not FFL but very active at gun shows and internet sales and things like that now have to play by the same rules,” Hills said. “(It) is actually a very smart and common sense thing.”

She also said that gun violence can hurt the taxpayer. Hills said 272 people are shot in the United States every day, with billions of dollars spent on healthcare for gun victims.

“Gun violence takes a huge toll,” Hills said. “Americans pay a huge cost and price for this epidemic, and we can no longer just ignore it.”

On the other side, Danny Todd, owner of, said the president’s actions don’t really change anything for current FFL dealers, but he did say increased regulation of the industry is unnecessary.

“We need to just be enforcing the guns that are on the books right now and not bother with any new regulations,” Todd said.

Todd thinks the Obama administration is overstepping and that the president is not a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. Todd acknowledges there might be people at gun shows selling firearms without a license. He is unsure if someone who sells a gun once or twice is considered to be engaged in the firearm business, which would require them to be federally licensed.

“If your grandfather dies and gives you the guns and you sell them, are you engaged in the business of selling firearms?” Todd said. “We don’t know that, that’s the thing that’s scary.”

He said the government should focus more time on keeping violent criminals behind bars as opposed to increasing gun regulations.

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