Topeka Reacts To President's Gun Initiative

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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Following a review from Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama announced his administration's gun control initiatives today. The news was met with mixed reactions in Topeka.

Obama asked Congress to require universal background checks for all gun buyers, place a ten round limit on magazines, and restore a ban on military style assault weapons.

"Weapons designed for the theater of war have no place in a movie theater,” said Obama. “A majority of Americans agree with us on this.”

A Pew Research Center poll released Monday reveals 51 percent of Americans say controlling gun ownership is a top priority, but critics argue such action threatens Second Amendment rights.

Kansas congressman Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-District 1) reacted to the president's proposals in a statement.

"Taking away the rights and abilities of law abiding citizens to defend themselves is yet another display of the Obama Administration's consolidation of power," said Huelskamp.

Owner of Ravenwood Lodge and state Rep. Ken Corbet (R-District 54) agreed.

“We still have a constitution,” said Corbet. :”And you have to remember, everyone up there that wants all these guns laws passed, all their secret service, all their body guards have all the things that they want the Americans not to have.”

Other state lawmakers say the president's suggestions are within reason.

“Unfortunately there will be people who get access to guns who probably shouldn’t,” said state Sen. Anthony Hensley (D-Senate Minority Leader). “And I think that's where the focus needs to be, and I just don’t believe that there's a threat to the Second Amendment.

Some citizens question whether new laws would be effective.

“You can just as easily pop in a multitude of ten round clips and do the same amount of damage and assault weapons,” said Abe Thomas, a Kansas resident. “I mean you can't stop crazy. So guns are guns no matter what style they are.”

The Senate Judiciary Committee will hold hearings on the issue on January 31. Obama said he will use the full weight of his office to make these proposals a reality.