LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After the Parkland Shooting in Florida that killed 17 people, many national stores have been taking matters into their own hands, restricting the sale of firearms to people under 21, a move that has sparked national debate, including here on the South Plains.
One of the largest gun retailers, Dick's Sporting Goods, has recently raised the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21 years old. The store also announced it will be removing certain sporting rifles from their shelves for good. On Wednesday, Walmart announced it will be doing the same,
Thomas Larson is the owner of Lone Star Shooting Sports, a Lubbock gun shop and shooting range. He says he will not be following the move made by Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart.
"We'll do what the federal government mandates us to do. Personally, I feel 18 is a good age," Larson said. "What you're trying to do is take away a bunch of rights away from people who haven't done anything wrong, all because of a few people who were either mentally ill or just bad people."
Another Lubbock retailer, Sharpshooter Safe and Gun, agrees.
"Obviously, there's a national discussion going on and everyone's got to look to see where their priorities are," Sharpshooter Sales Manager Ed Clements said. "Obviously, we want schools to be safe, but at the same time, we want to make sure we respect the rights of all Americans so its a complex issue, we'll be watching to see how it unfolds."
Lubbock shops may not be following in the footsteps of these national stores, but they are still taking steps to be responsible retailers.
"Anyone who purchases a firearm here has to go through a background check," Clements said. "It's a requirement of firearm sellers to look at the individuals to determine that the person should be purchasing those weapons."
Lone Star Shooting Sports provides classes to make sure people who buy guns from their establishment are ready.
"We've got two classrooms, we are going to do a lot education here," Larson said, "and we will be teaching responsible gun ownership."
These shops will all be watching the debate, alert for any changes to the law.
"There's a lot of discussion going on right now and basically we are going to be watching the government," Clements said, "and making sure any changes with the law and regulations, we are going to make sure we remain in compliance as we are today."
Lone Star Shooting Sports will be holding an active shooter training in the upcoming weeks. You can check the schedule at lonestarshootingsports.com.