LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - email
LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - East Texans' love for their guns and the gun sports and hobbies they're used for is well known.
But not everyone can participate based on age requirements for handguns. Now, the National Rifle Association hopes to change that.
Casey Evans, co-owner of Evans Brothers Gun Store and Range in Huntington, believes they can do it.
"The NRA is the largest lobbying group in the country and probably the most successful," he said.
Long guns and handguns are both used for target practice, self-defense and hunting. The main difference: you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun.
"One reason I think they're probably hard on handguns because you can stick a handgun in your coat or pocket," Evans said. "It's much easier to conceal a handgun."
The age issue hits home to Allen Repp of Bill's Gun Trader, who is a Vietnam veteran and says he's never understood laws that limit 18-year-olds.
"I've seen 17-year-olds die in war," Repp said. "Why should you hold back their freedoms?"
Gun-rights activists defend Americans' Second Amendment rights. Repp believes the age requirement law isn't in line with the Constitution.
"Doesn't say you gotta be 21 years old or 35 years old," Repp said. "It says you have the right to keep and bear arms."
"If you're a law-abiding citizen you should be able to own a firearm," Evans said.
At Bill's Gun Trader, Repp says more than 95 percent of the guns he sells are for game hunting and target practice. And just like any sport he says, you need the equipment to play.
"You buy golf clubs, you buy the rackets and hunting should be the same way," Repp said.
And there's no law prohibiting 18-year-olds from buying other types of sporting goods.