EL PASO, Texas -- Border gun stores have sold out of the weapons and ammunition that President Obama wants to ban under his plan to reduce gun violence.
“The assault weapon ammunition is gone,” said Shane Cook, manager of Sportsman’s Elite, an El Paso gun store. “And I have none to order from anywhere."
Cook said the store ran out of ammunition about two weeks ago and the semiautomatic weapons like the popular AR-15 are also sold out as gun owners brace for a possible ban on assault style weapons.
“The phone rings completely off the hook all day and 90 percent of the calls are ‘do you have any ARs in stock?’” said Cook.
The president proposed reinstating the ban and new restrictions on high-capacity magazine clips that hold more than ten rounds.
Avid gun owners, like Edward Sanchez, balk at the tighter controls.
“It’s not the guns,” said Sanchez. “The guys who did all those shootings, there was something wrong with their heads.”
Sanchez, who served in the Navy, said he has 10 weapons including handguns, shotguns and an AK47.
“We should be allowed to have what the military has too,” said Sanchez.
He came to the store to use the shooting range behind the shop.
Others customers pointed to Mexico as an example of what happens when the government tightens gun controls.
“You look at Juarez, just across the border," said Brock Reinsdorf, a gun owner in El Paso.
Mexico has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world.
“They took away all their guns and it’s the most dangerous city in the world. And the only people who have guns are police and the criminals,” said Reisdorf.
Juarez became a battleground for warring drug cartels. Drug violence claimed more than 10,000 lives in the border city the past six years before declining in 2012.
The Mexican government has said a majority of guns recovered at crime scenes or from drug cartels are from the United States and criminals get their weapons and ammunition illegally by simply crossing the border and smuggling their supply into Mexico.
The new president of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto, as well as his processor Felipe Calderon, have both called on the United States to reinstate the assault weapons ban that expired in 2004.
Gun owners do not oppose all of the Obama administration’s suggestions for reducing gun violence.
Cook is in favor of expanding the background checks required at gun shops to gun shows and private sellers.
“If it will keep a few criminals from buying weapons then why would we argue with that?” Cook said.