Gun store owner, activists react to Biden executive order on background checks

Britt conducts background checks on anyone purchasing a gun from him. That’s why he doesn’t expect a recent executive order to affect him.
Published: Mar. 15, 2023 at 5:35 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Dane Britt said it’s business as usual at his Wilmington-based gun shop, DB Private Firearms Training.

Britt conducts background checks on anyone purchasing a gun from him, whether that be at his store or a gun show. That’s why he doesn’t expect a recent federal executive order to affect him.

“I think everyone in the community likes having these rules and regulations in place. These are necessary to be able to keep ourselves safe and to keep our guns out of getting in the wrong hands,” Britt said.

President Joe Biden signed an order Tuesday, telling his staff to increase background checks conducted when purchasing firearms by enforcing federal background check laws. It’s the president’s latest move to address gun violence across the nation.

He also called on congress to pass more gun control legislation, like a ban on assault rifles and a universal background check requirement.

Opponents say they’re worried the order will unfairly target gun shows, where federal laws have loopholes, or private sale exemptions, that allow unlicensed people to sell guns without conducting background checks.

“Biden’s executive order is just another lawless action from probably the most lawless administration in US History,” said Paul Valone, president of Grass Roots North Carolina.

But gun control activists say it’s a step in the right direction to keep people safe and stop guns from getting into the wrong hands, like felons, people with domestic violence charges, or those with severe mental health conditions.

“I mean, who can be against background checks? Law-abiding citizens have no problems with background checks. It keeps guns out of the hands of people who should not have them,” said Becky Ceartas, executive director of North Carolinians Against Gun Violence.

But for Britt, the executive order seems to be a nonissue. He said as long as distributors are following the law, it won’t affect them – and if they’re not following the law, hopefully they would be reported anyways.

Britt said he’ll continue conducting sales as he always has, conducting background checks as required by law to make sure any firearms he sells are going to people who can legally own them.

“You can’t make bad guys follow the rules, but we have a lot of rules and regulations that are already there, and it’s the same things as what he’s talking about,” Britt said. “We all in the industry think these are absolutely necessary and we understand why they’re in place. That’s why we abide by them.”