DES MOINES, Iowa -- The recent shooting at a Florida high school prompted much debate in Iowa, and one Des Moines native shared his experience when he tried to buy a weapon at a local gun store.
In a recent Facebook video, Rich Rosendahl said it took him a short amount of time to walk into a gun store and go through the entire process of buying an AR-15 and ammunition.
“If I can walk in in less than 45 minutes, probably less than 30 minutes, obtain a weapon like that, something is broken in our system,” Rosendahl said.
Tom Hudson, owner of CrossRoads Shooting Sports said there’s a reason it was that easy.
“If this individual thought it was an easy process and he passed all the appropriate checks, then the system did what it was supposed to do by screening him appropriately," Hudson said. "If he had had any kind of negligible background, that would have caused a flag on his record. It wouldn’t have been that easy. He would have been flagged.”
Hudson said the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives also encourages gun store owners to refuse a sale if they do not feel comfortable selling to someone.
“Guns aren’t necessarily easy to get unless you’re legal to get them. And if you’re legal to get them, then that means you have something else going on inside of you emotionally, mentally, that there’s not a check in the world that will stop that,” Hudson said.
Rosendahl said mental illness issues are a whole different topic that needs to be addressed.
“As far as mental illness goes, I have someone very close to me that suffers from mental illness and cannot get proper care in this state at all and has not been able to. That needs addressed. We all know that needs addressed. At the same time, we must address the access people have to these weapons that can take out entire classrooms,” Rosendahl said.
Rosendahl and local school administrators are urging lawmakers to take action.
“The solution is in the laws. We have to change the laws. That’s where responsibility lies and then we can start to reshape our communities from that point,” Rosendahl said.
Hudson said no matter what laws are in place, evil will always remain.
“We could ban 30-round magazines. Sure enough, then a bad guy will stock up on more 10-round magazines. We could ban an AR-15 and then they’re going to find some other method of doing it, a different rifle or a different type of firearm. We could ban a firearm altogether, but then they may go in there with a series of glass bottles full of alcohol, Molotov cocktail things, and start the place on fire. I mean, it’s just not going to stop,” Hudson said.
Rosendahl posted a second video on Sunday urging people to take action by voting and learning about gun laws in each state.