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Gun Store Owner Reports Boost in Gun Sales After Texas Church Shooting, Should Parishioners Arm Themselves?

HERNANDO – As loved ones try to make sense of the horrific tragedy that took place at the Sutherland First Baptist Church in Texas on Sunday, the typical post-mass shooting gun control chants seemed to be met with an equal number of Americans who say, “enough is enough, it’s time to arm ourselves.” And that’s what many Hernando County residents said when we asked what they thought of local religious establishments taking measures to have armed staff or parishioners present during services.

Right out of the gate, one of the first responses was to suggest adding metal detectors to church entry ways but one commenter replied, “Metal detectors would only serve to keep law abiding citizens from carrying – do you think a mentally ill person wanting to shoot up the church is going to stop for a metal detector?”

Phillip Merrill says, “We have addressed this issue at our Church and we have a whole team of men that are trained and ready if necessary.”

Within hours that news broke of the Texas shooting, Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco stated, “To those who attend churches in Pasco County, the Pasco Sheriff’s Office wants to make you aware that there will be extra patrols at churches throughout the county during services in light of recent events. We want to make it clear that there are NO threats against any church in Pasco County, instead, we are just providing support and peace of mind to our faith based community. For those of you who do see these extra patrols at these churches, there is no reason to be alarmed.”

We asked the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office for a statement and they replied “Having armed staff members or parishioners is a decision only they can make. As always, if any person knows of someone who is acting irrational, particularly with a history similar to that of the alleged shooter in the most recent case, they should notify law enforcement.”

Capt. Rick Hankins of the Brooksville Police Department says, “Firearms carried in the church isn’t anything new. It is no different than carrying in the grocery store or any other locations in the exceptions to the CCW permit rules.”

In typical “Judd” fashion, Polk County Sheriff, Grady Judd didn’t hold back when he tweeted, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun.” Judd when on to Tweet, “We do active shooter scenario training – call us @ 863-298-6677.”

American Gun and Pawn Store Owner and Hernando County Commissioner, Steve Champion tells RNRF, “If you disarm the people, most will not show up to church! Today we had an influx of people buying guns, specifically to carry at Church! Over the past couple of years four pastors have purchased guns from us. The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun!” Steve went on to tell RNRF that just since the Texas Church shooting, several elderly women purchased revolvers from him, specifically to carry in church.

But not everyone is calling to stock up on arms, quite the opposite, according to Josh Horwitz of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. Yesterday Horwitz emailed a statement to RNRF that blamed Domestic Violence for the shooting, rather than mental illness. Horwitz writes, “the suspect in Sunday’s shooting in Sutherland Springs had a history of domestic violence. Unlike mental illness, domestic violence is a good predictor for violence.” The CSGV has now started a “sister organization” called “Disarm Domestic Violence.” The movement is geared towards disarming alleged domestic abuser of having the ability to possess a firearm, however, there are already laws in place that do just that. In Florida, a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence can never possess a firearm again. The same rules are in place when a person is accused of domestic violence in civil court, and for the duration that an injunction remains in place, that person cannot possess or purchase firearms.

The only problem with using Domestic Violence laws to strengthen gun laws, according to a panel of Florida Judges, is that upwards of 80% of domestic violence allegations are either false or have no merit. So many worry that anti-gun advocates are using domestic violence as an excuse to take away the gun rights of law abiding citizens.

The gunman, 26-year-old Devin P. Kelley, has a history of violence against his first wife and as a result was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force in 2012. Due to an oversight by the Air Force, records of Kelley’s military criminal history was not disclosed.

Kelley shot and killed 26 people and injured at least 20 more before fleeing the area and taking his own life.

Thanks to two armed bystanders who shot at and pursued Kelley, the gunman was unable to escape and possibly harm additional innocent victims.

The case remains under investigation.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. ™2013 – 2017 RNRF Incorporated.


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  • not trying to make a statemtn not trying to refute peoples beleifs but i will leave this idea here “People who break the law dont observe the law. Gun laws are for people who follow the law. if a person is willing to break the law to shoot someone they are willing to break a law to get the weapon.” I beleive all people should be protected.. when i go to the conventions and see swat officers with fully loaded M4 carbines READY for the possibility of an unstable person wanting to break the law i feel safe.. maybe if the law abiding citizens had lawfully owned weapons to defend themselves in the case of an unstable person wants to snap.. it will make them feel safer too.

    Saturday, 11 November 2017, 2:34 pm
  • I’m actually at a loss for words.

    I had no idea the depths of ignorance by liberals concerning the lawful ownership of firearms by good citizens ran so deep in this county.

    Just for a small reality check; I’m a veteran, have legally carried concealed for over 30 years now, shoot IDPA, have advanced training in threat focused pistol (gunfighting), and extensive training in h2h (hand to hand combat) and blade training (knife fighting). I continue to participate in advanced training every year, and haven’t killed the first law abiding citizen yet.

    I choose to do so because the world is a dangerous place, and I take the responsibility I have to protect myself and my family very seriously.

    What have you sheeple ever done to protect yourselves and your family?

    Do you think that the criminals will obey whatever feel-good liberal backed laws you want passed to further remove the ability of good, law abiding citizens to protect themselves?

    You asshats make me sick!

    Friday, 10 November 2017, 10:51 pm
    • The liberals resort to name calling and verbal intimidation to keep the bad guys away. I hope that and their smugness gets them through the rest of their lives,

      Saturday, 11 November 2017, 7:46 am
  • Bill and Arlene, since you two seem opposed to gun ownership, how do you protect your family in case a lunatic kicks in your front door and chases your family around with a butcher knife stabbing them to death? Oh, i know…you will dial 911 and wait for police to arrive to save you. Please enlighten us if you have other options.

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 7:05 pm
    • Yeah dude cuz common sense isn’t your thing. Nice non sequitur.
      More guns are associated with war zones. Esp when the general public has free access.
      If the nra didn’t run our country then we wouldn’t be terrorized and your silly point wouldn’t scare the sheep.

      Thursday, 9 November 2017, 10:29 pm
      • Are you really that ignorant, or just spouting the liberal party line?

        Thursday, 9 November 2017, 11:26 pm
      • Well, Jimbo, you just showed us your weak-kneed, hide-your-head-in-sand view of life in the real world. Good luck dealing with the bad guys when they come calling!

        Friday, 10 November 2017, 9:10 am
      • Jimbo mea non dicitur quod non sequitur. Eam secuta est subiectum pressius!

        Friday, 10 November 2017, 9:24 am
        • Yes, perhaps you know some latin, but still have no idea of common sense, what works, what has been proven to work.

          I’m certainly not gullible and am armed. However, I can read and incorporate information, a skill that most GOP sheep continuously demonstrate they do not have.

          As evidenced by the sad little excuses for rebuttals above, the GOP sheeple continuously endanger this country with their NRA faux logic.

          So why do you hate America? Why don’t you want us to be safer, like Canada, Australia, UK, Japan etc?

          Friday, 10 November 2017, 11:09 am
          • Jimbo, I have daily contact with persons from Australia, Japan, The UK, Canada and many other countries. The concensus is that they thoroughly dislike their strict gun laws which leaves them defenseless, especially with modern terrorism. Most of them cannot explain how their draconian laws even came into existance. I equate it too Communism. Take a piece at a time over several years until you have the whole pie. Thank God for the NRA that realizes the Left’s ploy and sidelines them for the sake of Freedom!

            Friday, 10 November 2017, 12:42 pm
    • I have asked the same question. You’re trying to make a logical point with liberals and you’re wasting your time.

      Friday, 10 November 2017, 5:49 am
      • LOL!! If you had common sense you wouldn’t be repeating nonsense. If you were not a sheeple, you’d at least be aware that there are facts that directly oppose your position.

        But you know everything, that’s why we lag the industrialized world, or lead it in crime and violence.

        You Hate America, your willful ignorance is our greatest weakness.

        Friday, 10 November 2017, 11:19 am
      • So, by chance, if you’re not just a lemming and you have something to contribute, perhaps you can tell us what happened with gun laws in say, Australia, and why it wouldn’t work here.

        Friday, 10 November 2017, 11:29 am
  • Nothing says I trust in my almighty protective hand of god like a 357 magnum. Let’s face facts folks if your almighty allows a massacre in his holy house then either he doesn’t exist or doesn’t give a s##t and just wants your money and add kissing. I will go with the stop having imaginary friends and let’s accept reality and begin to live together as human beings

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 4:20 pm
  • People should feel free not to carry if that’s what they want to do. Personally I’ll carry.

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 4:06 pm
  • And he said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.- Luke 22:36

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 3:00 pm
  • Please don’t antagonize an already gun crazed public Tom. Next thing you know you’ll be reporting from St. Francis Cabrini!

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 1:55 pm
  • I don’t care how much police attend a church a shooter will find another place to go and kill people it can happen anywhere

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 1:08 pm
  • okay so some domestic violence cases are unfounded. that’s okay. let everyone else have the right. the gun isn’t that important

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 11:30 am
  • Can any gun advocates explain the need for assault rifles to be available ? Does our paranoid society think we need these to protect our domiciles and churches? Are we going back to the days of the “old west”?. Everyone walks around with guns in holsters on their hips? Most other countries mandate gun control with laws that require you to prove that you have a use for a gun, that you know how to handle it, you are given tests and schooling on the safety, there are extreme background vetting and you are required to register, license and renew every so many years. Guns are required to be in locked cabinets and the police have the right to check on this at their discretion . Stronger laws are the only way this madness will stop, not arming every human with assault rifles and next it will be grenades.

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 11:11 am
    • Really drugs are illegal hows that workin.

      Thursday, 9 November 2017, 3:56 pm
      • Guns aren’t illegal. Almost anyone can go to a rural county and back up their truck. But to a sheep, you believe whatever the gop tells you to think.

        Thursday, 9 November 2017, 6:13 pm
    • Do you really the drivel that you post?

      If so, you’re beyond clueless.

      Thursday, 9 November 2017, 11:29 pm
      • My second post was directed to “Arleen.”

        I don’t know why it posted after Jimbo’s comments.

        Thursday, 9 November 2017, 11:31 pm
      • Yes, I know… Facts are problematic for sheeple.

        Friday, 10 November 2017, 11:10 am
    • Bet u voted for Hilary and Obama, I very, my wife carries and as soon as the lids are of age they will carry too. I am always locked and loaded no matter where I go. Never leave home with out it and a few extra clips. More guns the better

      Friday, 10 November 2017, 9:35 pm
  • Wow. What would jesus do?

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 10:38 am
  • I think that Josh Horowitz is way off base by saying that Domestic Violence is why many of these shooting take place. Domestic Violence runs rampant in this Country so that would mean that only people who have “domestic issues” will be more than likely to commit such a crime. Yes, in Florida there is a law that in in place but is Mr. Horowitz aware of the fact that is someone wants to get their hands on a gun, NO LAW ON THE BOOKS is going to stop them. You have firearms being sold on the streets all over this Country, people steal guns from others and then there is the Internet. If someone is hell bent on getting a gun it would take them no time at all to get their hands on one.

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 10:25 am
  • More guns=more crime = more fear = more profits = more NRA buying politicians = more guns; repeat….

    Our more gullible, yet perhaps good fellow citizens continue to be led like sheep by the NRA.

    There is a reason we lead the world in gun violence, it’s lack of an effective common sense gun law.

    One only need to look at other less violent countries and what they did; Australia for example.

    But no, the lemmings will only listen to their GOP Commanders. Facts, logic; out the window, as longs as I get to play cowboy and feel important with my little gun.

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 9:06 am
    • You state that we “lead the world in gun violence”, I am curious were you got that data. It would seem that Mexico would be a leader in that category.

      Thursday, 9 November 2017, 7:37 pm
    • Another clueless lemming that believes whatever lib soundbite he heard last…

      Thursday, 9 November 2017, 11:32 pm
      • Really, comparing us to mexico? Who does that? How about the 10 industrialized nations with higher standards of living? Are you even as clueless as Rick, who is so brainwashed that he turns a blind eye to the obvious?

        You people have been lied to so long by your imperial leaders you can’t even pretend like you can keep up.


        Friday, 10 November 2017, 11:12 am
  • Heck, I have been carrying concealed in church, weddings and stuff for 30 years.
    Obviously restaurants and stores are included.
    It’s just that I never assumed any place to be safe.
    I feel naked when I cvan’t carry. Schools, court house…Dr’s office…

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 8:47 am
  • So, the bottom line is, it’s the governments fault for not doing their job. When have you ever known the government to do a better job than private industry?

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 6:39 am
  • The cops do there jobs, but the courts are at fault with the sometime idiot judges putting these bad guys back on the streets. Once in jail, long hair gone, lights out 9:00, absolute discipline including the guards, we didn’t have a lot of problems with prisoners back in the day but the ACLU changed all that, screw the aclu

    Thursday, 9 November 2017, 4:58 am
  • Our church has always ha security and Hernando county Sheriffs at every service ..I feel very safe’s sad that this happened I pray for the family’s and survivors. That’s one place we should all feel safe. And Domestic violence is a form of mental illness, it’s the same as sexual abuse. It’s learned and a cycle. The person committing the act, has had that happen to them… And it goes on. more mental health services and help for people who have suffered through trauma is needed. But until this country gets there is an issue, nothing will be done. People put the blame onto the person committing the crime, but not into the person’s background. No one knows, maybe it was the child left for dead in a closet, with so many bruises and head cut’s that there is brain damage. Or parents and uncles sexually abused them so badly they have scars and can never live a normal life’s more than one person going into a establishment and destroying or shooting up the place…the person has been through some serious trauma. But people don’t understand or see that.. I’m not saying it’s pk .I’m saying that until the government and the house puts helping these people priority it’s going to keep happening…This country is in major trouble and were all responsible for it…

    Wednesday, 8 November 2017, 10:01 pm
    • At times, I like Judd, but here he’s a complete idiot. A good guy with a gun… stopped him after he killed 27 people. Duhh…. it’s not rocket science. Letting the general population have easy access to firearms is never a good idea…

      But that would cut into Mr. Champion’s profits, he won’t let common sense interfere with his bottom line. He certainly wouldn’t let his sheep learn or think the truth about anything.

      Mental illness is certainly a problem, as is domestic violence, but other countries have the same rates but not the same murder rates. The only logical conclusion is that easy access to guns is the cause.

      So as the GOP minions stay mesmerized by the idea of NRA and VooDoo Econ, the rich continue to escalate their wealth and power while wages continue to fall and/or remain stagnant.

      Thursday, 9 November 2017, 9:14 am
      • Oh your on all the perverts side. Go have some turtle soup make sure get them from road safer that way.. Blessed

        Thursday, 9 November 2017, 3:53 pm
        • No I’m not on Moore’s, Hastert, Gingrich, or trumps side.

          It’s be nice if gop sheep ever had a relevant fact to share.

          That would be a nice change.

          Thursday, 9 November 2017, 6:10 pm
          • Jimbo, dang boy! You sure talk about sheep a lot. Are you the one that’s been sneaking over my fence and diddling my cattle?

            Monday, 13 November 2017, 1:19 pm

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