Local reps, groups respond to Obama's proposed gun bans

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Just hours after President Obama unveiled his $500 million gun control package, Grand Valley groups and local representatives opposing the plan sprang into action.

Wednesday, the president pressed congress to pass arguably the biggest gun control push ever in this country, hoping the proposals will cut down on gun violence, but one local group says it will do just the opposite, and plans to let our representatives know they won't stand for the proposed

“I'm calling on congress to pass some very specific proposals right away," said President Obama.

Proposals, like a ban on the sale of military- style assault weapons, a ban on magazines with more than 10 rounds and a mandate for all gun buyers to be subject to background checks.

"The only way we can change is if the American people demand it," Obama said.

But some local residents say the change they're demanding doesn't involve a ban on guns.

"A lot of the founding fathers of this country talked about how the right to bear arms for free men is one of the things that separates free men from being a slave," said Jeff Mccloskey, the president of the Mesa County Patriots, a group of people who say they are standing for our constitutional rights. On the agenda now is protecting the 2nd amendment.

"Those weapons can be used for personal defense, or defense of your home, your property, defense of enemy invaders to our country, but also as a last resort against a tyrannical government," Mccloskey said.

The patriots plan to rally this weekend, encouraging people to open carry their weapons in support of self defense.

"People who are potentially going to be oppressed, be free, have the same right to bear the same weapons as their rulers, we're not supposed to have rulers we're supposed to have a government that's accountable to the people," he said.

The president's response comes on the heels of one of the deadliest school shootings in history.

"Concrete steps we can take right now, to keep our children safe, to help prevent mass shootings," Obama said Wednesday in his speech.

Bu some representatives, including house district 54's Jared Wright, said taking away rights isn't the answer, and they plan to fight back, at least at the state level.

"The problem here is that the current administration and the president are playing on people's fears," Wright said. "I am not going to vote for anything that further restricts gun use for law abiding citizens."

Mccloskey said he expects a few hundred people to show up with their guns this weekend in front of the old Mesa County Courthouse in protest, also expecting local representatives and military veterans to be among the speakers.

The event will be on Saturday, Jan. 19 at noon on the steps of the old Mesa County Courthouse, located at 544 Rood Avenue.

KKCO 11 News reached out to the Mesa County Sheriff's Office Wednesday to see how the sheriff plans to enforce the proposals if they become law, but the sheriff said he wasn't prepared to talk about it yet.

President Obama is also signing 23 executive orders that don't require congressional approval, including improving access to data for background checks and a memorandum to research causes and prevention of gun violence.

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