EUREKA - It's a fundamental part of the constitution. The second amendment protects the right to bear arms.
“I grew up around guns. I grew up in the Midwest. I grew up hunting. I'm an outdoorsman. I get it. Guns have been around for a long time. There are very legitimate reasons to have guns and to allow them to be owned,” Congressman Jared Huffman said.
And it’s an integral part of life for many. People legally own guns for pleasure, for competitive shooting, for hunting, or for self-defense.
“A lot of the public is fearful of being a victim of a crime so many members of the public do purchase firearms and as long as their trained and the appropriately store it, that's not a problem,” Lt. Steve Knight with the Humboldt County Sheriff’s said.
But proper training and storage is not always the case with gun owners. Law enforcement officers have seen enough situations of inappropriate or uninformed ownership.
“We've had many cases throughout the United States and in California where children have been killed by taking up a firearm and playing with it. Including some law enforcement officers that have left their firearm unattended,” Lt. Knight added.
And not just children.
“Statistically, if you look at all the injuries that come to people in homes, people who have firearms are more likely to use it on themselves than they are other people,” Chief Andy Mills with the Eureka Police Department said.
But that doesn’t make owning a gun wrong. For our police and politicians, it stresses the importance of regulation.
“It’s not about taking anyone’s guns away or guns for self-defense…taking those away. It’s about getting a serious rigorous registration system and background system in place so we can better protect our kids and our communities,” Congressman Huffman said.
And even if guns were removed, some say taking them would not solve the much deeper, underlying issue.
“I think violence is in human nature. There's good and there's evil and there's always going to people who are willing to commit bad acts against other people for various reasons. So, if you take away the firearms, I still honestly believe that the criminals are going to find another form to commit their acts,” Kevin Kaldveer, owner of Old West Shootery and Supply explained.