Knoxville gun rights avocates oppose students’ demands on gun control

Local News

Students were calling for action on Friday in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and called out lawmakers as many young people feel there is a failure to respond to the push for tighter gun control restrictions. In the months since the Parkland shooting, there’s also been a parallel chorus of voices worried that the push to respond to mass shootings could compromise American’s second amendment rights. 

Robbie Paskiewicz is the general manager of Knoxville Gun Range and believed education is the answer to keeping students safe in school.

“People are going to get hurt if people want to hurt people. It’s not the tool that does it. It’s the person,” said Paskiewicz.

Students were pushing for several measures including banning assault weapons and raising the minimum age to buy all guns to 21. Gun owners like Paskiewicz feel some were asking for things they do not know much about.

“We don’t know what an assault weapon is. Here they are called firearms and the reason they are called firearms is because an assault weapon to us is anything you use in a negative fashion,” he said.

State Representative Jason Zachary felt the answer to protecting students is adding more armed officers in schools. He said it’s very unlikely the students’ demands would pass in the state legislature.

“The broader issue is that the moral fabric of our nation is not what it was 15 or 20 years ago,” he said.

Just this week, the Tennessee House of Representatives passed a bill that would allow school districts to adopt a gun safety class or program. However, it would prohibit the use or presence of live ammunition.

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