Las Crucens react to talk of stricter gun control laws

Competitive shooters say they won't give up guns

Las Crucens react to talks of stricter gun control laws

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - A Las Cruces firearms instructor tells ABC-7 all his classes are full for the next four months.

Guns and ammunition have been flying off the shelves in response to talk of stricter gun control laws.

Curtis Childress teaches people how to use firearms safely in courses he teaches once a month. He said the demand for training has skyrocketed in the past month.

"Usually we'll fill them up within the month. What we're finding now is six to eight weeks out, we're filling our classes well in advance," Childress told ABC-7.

He said he's received hundreds of calls from people who are new gun owners.

Amidst talk of stricter gun control laws, Childress thinks people are stockpiling guns and ammunition, just in case.

In fact, he said it's hard to find any ammo in stores. Childress said he has had to purchase ammo for his classes well in advance because most stores are sold out.

He said he's glad new gun owners are reaching out for help.

"The biggest thing is I think they need to make sure they're safe and second they need to get some training. They need to understand what the laws are. They need to understand how to operate it," Childress said.

Childress isn't the only one having trouble finding ammo.

This weekend there's a shooting competition at the Butterfield Shooting Range west of Las Cruces.

People from all over go to the range to train and compete.

Several competitive shooters told ABC-7 they're not going to let controversy stop them from doing what they love.

"It's a rush that you can't explain. It's a feeling of power here on the range," said Tommy Sims, a competitive shooter from Albuquerque.

At the Wild Bunch Action shooting competition, competitors have a maximum of fifty seconds to get through the shooting course as accurately and quickly as possible.

That thrill is what brings people from all over the country to shooting competitions.

Many competitors are worried about losing something they consider a lifestyle.

"That's really hard for me because I love shooting. We have people that come in and camp out here, and we just have a good time with everybody," said Mark Aguirre, the event organizer.

"After I was sad I'd probably be mad about it because most of the population, we're safe with guns. It's just the few that don't have any gun training or something else going on. They take it out of control," Sims said.

Organizers said safety is always a top priority at shooting competitions. Everyone in the range area must wear safety goggles and earplugs. All loaded firearms have to stay on the loading table until shooters compete. Immediately after, they walk over to the unloading table and get their guns cleared.

"We who shoot competitively, it's a safe thing for us. We're not going to stop a lunatic from getting a firearm or getting something that he's going to cause harm. What they're trying to do now is take away our rights for the Second Amendment, to have guns to do stuff like this," Aguirre said.

The shooting competition continues all this weekend.

Several competitors said they shoot about 30,000 rounds a year. Lately, they said, it's been hard to find ammo for competitions because it's sold out most places.

comments powered by Disqus