Pawn shop owner speaks on gun debate

Mayse said the bad guys would always have guns with or without new gun laws.

Several recent violent crimes have put the spotlight on the use of guns.

President Obama is calling for stricter gun control laws, while gun supporters say government involvement is not the answer.

Don Mayse, who owns a chain of family pawn stores in mid-Missouri, sells a lot of guns. He said there is too much misinformation about guns in the national media and in Washington D.C.

Mayse said the gun debate is driven by east and west coast arguments and hardly anyone considers law abiding gun owners in the Midwest. He said he believes laws are aimed at regulating and modifying the behavior of the law abiding. He added that the bad guys would always have guns, with or without new gun laws.

â??The felons and the folks who are not supposed to have weapons anyway and already have weapons are already breaking federal law," Mayse said. "We donâ??t need more laws. We have laws that should put those folks back in jail if found to have a weapon.â??

Mayse said too many federal lawmakers donâ??t understand firearms and shouldnâ??t decide how people use them. He said he believes gun laws should be implemented state by state with a common sense approach.

â??Guns are not the enemy," Mayse said. "The people who create the havoc and terror are the enemy. Guns are just a tool.â??

Mayse said the gun debate is not about the types of guns -- itâ??s about gun ownership, and no law will solve any problems as long as criminals and the mentally ill have access to guns.

Some federal lawmakers are proposing bills that would do everything from banning high-capacity ammunition magazines to mandating background checks on all gun sales, public and private.