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Annual Gun Event in Murrieta Encourages Safety

The Shootist, a family-owned and operated gun shop in Murrieta, held its 7th annual parking lot event over the weekend.

WITH VIDEO: When gun violence occurs, as it did when Jared Loughner allegedly opened fire at a Tucson grocery store in January, critically injuring U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killing six, there comes a renewed concern over gun laws and safety. Many question the accessibility children and criminals have to guns and feel stricter gun laws should be put in place.

Randy Archbold, owner of The Shootist in Historic Downtown Murrieta, said he understands people's concerns, and said that some should not have access to guns. That is one of the reasons he holds a yearly parking lot event, which this year took place March 11-13. The open-house style event provided information on gun laws and safety, educating gun owners and prospective gun owners about proper usage, maintenance and storage.

It included providing education for children through the Eddie Eagle Program, funded by the Friends of the National Rifle Association. The program encourages children who see or find a firearm to "Stop, Don’t touch, Leave the Area and Find an Adult." 

During the event, The Shootist also gave away free firearm locks. Twenty factory representatives were on hand to answer questions and give gun safety demonstrations.

Is gun violence preventable?

While Archbold recognizes people’s fears, he believes that it is not current gun laws--or those who abide by them--that are the problem; it’s the lack of enforcement and those who choose to evade the law.

“Gun laws only restrict the law-abiding citizens,” Archbold said. “If the laws were enforced it wouldn’t be easy [to get a gun]. They could make 100 more laws, but if they aren’t enforced or followed, they won’t work.”

Archbold goes on to say that a criminal by definition is someone who has broken a law. Therefore, if a criminal does not follow one law, he is likely to not follow another.

 What are the laws, exactly?

According to Erin Archbold, an employee of The Shootist and Archbold's daughter, there are federal, state and sometimes localized laws to keep guns out of the hands of those deemed risky. These include passing a background check performed by the FBI, a 10-day wait period and a safety certification. The person must also show proof of residency in California.

For example, Penal Code sections 12021(d)(1), 12021.1 and sections 8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code state, “Any person who has been convicted of a felony, certain misdemeanors, certain firearm offenses, addicted to narcotics, a subject of a domestic violence restraining order or has been committed to a mental institution may not possess or have under his or her control any firearm.”

Erin went on to elaborate that even those with an expired license or unpaid parking tickets can be flagged by the Department of Justice and refused the purchase of a gun.

Gun safety

Safety is another major argument for those who are anti-gun; however, most of those who are pro-gun feel the same way.

“I think it’s healthy to know and understand how guns work, especially for children,” said Lake Elsinore resident Mary Westling, who was at the parking lot event on Sunday.

“You always hear about kids accidently shooting someone. [It's] the kids that don’t know anything about them are the ones that hurt people," Westling said.

Randy Archbold concurs and insists that while knowledge about guns and their safety is important, it’s not the guns themselves that are the problem.

“When something like what happened in Tucson happens, critics are quick to judge the gun laws and the safety of them,” Archbold said. “If [Jared Lee] Loughner had driven a car full of explosives, he could have killed 50 people, but would there be an outcry to ban all automobiles?” Archbold doesn’t think so.

There are no guarantees, yet many gun dealers, including Archbold, are careful whom they sell to.  

“Not everyone should own a gun,” Archbold said. “There have been times when I haven’t sold a gun and notified law enforcement because I was suspicious of the person.”

Randy went on to say that when a shooting occurs, many discuss the signs and question if it could have been prevented. If no one reports a suspicion or the gun purchaser has no documented history of problems, there is no way to judge the future actions of a person, he said.

While this can be an unsettling notion, Murrieta residents may feel safer knowing firearm dealers like The Shootist aim to uphold the law and help prevent gun violence.

Katinka Clementsmith March 15, 2011 at 02:29 PM
I believe in the right to carry arms, but it surprises that there is a big enough need in Murrieta to warrant a gun store. Is there lots of hunting here? Are we protecting ourselves from foreign invaders, is this a violent area so people feel the need to have guns in the home to protect themselves? I am curious to know why people here who have guns, do. Maybe its just something fun to collect? I guess if I were in Texas I wouldn't even wonder, but I do. And thanks to the Shootist for making an effort to educate those who have guns. But why aren't all guns sold with safety latches in the first place?
Jonathan Seal March 17, 2011 at 11:10 PM
This particular family owned gun shop has been serving our valley for over 20 years. Does Murrieta have a big enough need to warrant a gun store? ABSOLUTLEY! We have three local ranges that are family oriented where I frequently visit. It's great to see "shooting sports" doing well here in California, especially in this economy. Yes, many guns are purchased as collectable's and we buy them as an investment and to pass down to our children one day. Living here in the valley for the last 15 years or so, we do have a good law enforcement presence, but with this weakend economy I know that my wife, children and even my neighbors feel more comfortable knowing that I have the means to defend my home and loved ones in the case of a break-in or home invasion. With law enforcement cut-backs I don't feel comfortable only relying on 911. The Shootist has become not just a local favorite, but a one stop destination because of huge variety that they offer and their fare prices. My hunting/shooting buddies and their families all shop there and we are treated like "family" which is the type of service we would never get from a bigbox store. Wouldn't you rather our tax dollars stay here in Murrieta rather then 60 miles north or south on the 15 fwy? Lastly, ALL new production firearms come with a gun lock and if I ever buy something used or on consignment I must either purchase a lock at time of pick up or provide the make and model of my gun safe here at my home and sign a form.
Typhanie Sharfner March 18, 2011 at 06:30 AM
Thanks Katinka and Jonathan for your input. Katinka, most guns do come with a safety lock on the gun itself. The safety has to be off in order to fire. The locks given out were more of a steering wheel lock, ensuring it couldn't be moved. The store itself provides firearms to local police and sheriff. The owner, Randy, specializes in antique and collectable guns. While I was covering the story, I mainly talked to Erin. She talked to me for over an hour and gave me so much information on gun safety, the laws they have to follow as well safe handling. She also told me that a person who comes in thinking about purchasing a gun is not just sold a gun with no questions asked. Aside from the lawful ways of purchasing a gun, if she feels the person is nervous about owning a gun, she recommends pepper spray or a taser. In covering the story I was reassured by all the laws that are in place. Furthermore, all the employee's and customer's were very aware of gun safety. I'm hope this article makes you feel secure about those who lawfully buy and sell guns. Also, check out the video of the proper loading and unloading of a gun. There was a lot of safety procedures I never really thought about.
mike March 19, 2011 at 03:38 AM
Do you use a gun lock? Most people can't find the right key for the right lock. Now you can use the Knowload gun safety band, It will let you and everyone know that this weapon is still "LOADED" go to www.knowload.com and order your's today.
Don December 12, 2012 at 02:37 PM
The ultimate gun "safety" should be what's between your ears. Through education, proper training, & practice for EVERYONE who is in the house where a firearm exists is imparitive and can not be stressed enough. When you employ a safety device it should be one that does not hinder the ability for IMMEDIATE use should the unfortunate situation arise that you should need it. There are several on the market that fit this bill. And honestly, I don't fear my children getting to it as much as other kids that are in our house at times whom have not received the training that my kids have. Not only that but it's AWESOME family time that we spend together.

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