LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Thousands of East Texans belong to the nationwide group, Friends of NRA. They're the kind of people represented today by the nation's largest gun rights group that met with the vice president this morning. They represent the likes of Lufkin businessman Mark Oliver, owner of Oliver Plumbing.
Customers may walk into his store for a faucet or drain plug, but they might leave as a National Rifle Association member. The NRA recruiter proudly displays information about the grass roots support group by the cash register
"They look at the sign and say, 'Boy, "I sure do like that right there. I like to see people in that'. I never had anyone come in here and say anything bad about having it," said Oliver.
Oliver's recruiting efforts of Friends of NRA haven't really changed that much, but he has noticed discussion centering around the national issues has certainly picked up.
"Everybody talks about, of course, about wanting to take the guns away," shared Oliver.
Still Oliver is pleased the Obama administration is wanting to hear from the NRA and gun retailers.
"You not going to get anything done without discussing it. And there does need to be something done in certain areas," said Oliver.
Limits on high capacity clips wouldn't affect Oliver. What does he prefer?
"A 12 gauge single shot It's just a protection gun or good bird hunting, squirrel hunting gun," Oliver said as he pulled it from a corner behind his desk.
The avid deer and squirrel hunter says three shells at a time are enough for him.
"It's over with anyway You either got him or you didn't", said the hunter who doesn't even use deer stands or bait.
Oliver still wouldn't want to restrict the responsible users of high powered rifles with high-capacity clips.
"There's still a lot of shooting competitions that go on with those style rifles.They have a lot of silhouette type shooters. They have speed shooting with those things," explained Oliver.
Friends of NRA sponsor many of the events which raise money for local youth.
"We give the 4H shooting team here in Angelina County, we give them a little over $20,000."
He'll leave the politics to national leadership.
"Guns don't kill people, people kill people," he said.
Mark Oliver is selling tickets for the upcoming Friends of NRA banquet to be held this March in Diboll. Stop by his store for details or go to the Friends of the NRA website.