Pawn shop owner weighs in on Virginia’s new gun control laws

Pawn shop owner weighs in on Virginia’s new gun control laws

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - New gun control laws went into effect Wednesday, July 1, across Virginia.

Many of the restrictions reflect the Democratic majority in the General Assembly and have the intention of reducing or preventing gun violence. However, Tobey Bouch, owner of Tobey’s Pawn, fears the rules won’t fix the issues legislators are trying to solve, especially since gun sales have momentarily spiked since Wednesday.

“They’re just one more catalyst to encourage people to buy guns in all honesty,” he said.

Bouch says when people are in a state of panic or fear, they often run to something that makes them feel more secure. In the past few months, he says that something has been firearms.

“The initial reaction to it is increased sales,” he said. “People are jumping ahead of it, trying to get ahead of the laws.”

The new legislation requires universal background checks with every sale and re-instates Virginia’s “one handgun a month” rule.

“Universal background checks means every gun transaction, whether I’m selling it to my neighbor, or my cousin, or my friend or my co worker, I have to have them checked,” Bouch said.

It also requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within 48 hours or face a civil penalty and introduces a red flag law.

“Red flag laws allow law enforcement to take away firearms if they see you as a threat to yourself or someone else,” Bouch said.

Bouch doesn’t believe these laws will be able to stop criminals from possessing guns.

“Dangerous people owning firearms or possessing firearms has been a problem for a long time, but that’s usually outside of law,” he said.

While he is confident that law-abiding citizens will have no problem following the new rules, Bouch fears Democrats will draw up more restrictive laws for the commonwealth in the near future if these new laws don’t solve the issue at hand.

“It will inhibit the way law-abiding citizens buy guns,” he said “My biggest concern is that people will have their right to bear arms infringed.”

As far as the way Tobey’s Pawn operates, not much will change, but Bouch says it will be a lot harder for people to buy and sell guns individual to individual as there are more hoops to jump through.

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