WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) - In the wake of sweeping gun legislation changes proposed by the president Wednesday, some in West Michigan are clambering to get their hands on weapons and magazines that may soon be banned.
Pres. Barack Obama Wednesday afternoon proposed the most dramatic gun control laws in two decades, trying to make changes in hopes it will stop tragedies like the Newtown, Conn. school shooting that killed 26, including 20 children.
"This is our first task as a society, keeping our children safe," said Obama during the announcement of the policy package.
The $500-million plan includes a call for Congress to ban military-style assault weapons, limit ammunition magazines to ten rounds and require background checks on each and every gun sale.
Wednesday, Silver Bullet Firearms was out of AR-15 semiautomatic rifles for purchase -- a weapon that would be banned under the proposed legislation.
Gun enthusiasts call it a sport utility weapon.
Mike Visser, an instructor at Silver Bullet, told 24 Hour News 8 that the store has had increased demand for the AR-15 since December. He said the company that manufactures the AR-15 is trying to keep up with that demand. which is currently outpacing supply.
"As soon as we get them into the store, within an hour, they're gone again," said Visser.
Silver Bullet does still have AR-15s available for rent.
Visser said he doesn't know what would happen if the presidents proposals become law.
"We don't know exactly what the entire law would enact if it is passed," said Visser. "I'm assuming it would be very similar to what we experience from the 1994 to 2004 crime bans."
There are 900 pending concealed pistol license requests in Kent County, according to Undersheriff Jon Hess.
On average, 238 applications are put in each month in Kent County. In December 2012, that number spiked to 341 and there have been 263 requests in January so far. There were 90 new requests in just one two-day period in January.
Hess said clerks have told him that many of those are the result of a fear of gun control.
At Silver Bullet, many were also purchasing the extended magazines targeted for ban in the president's proposal.
Obama Wednesday also signed 23 executive orders that don't need approval from Congress, including measures to encourage schools to hire police officers, increase research on gun violence and improve efforts to prosecute gun crimes.
The president said he realizes many will be opposed to the plans, but called for support from Americans.
"While there is no law or set of laws that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there is even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there's even one life that can be saved, then we've got an obligation to try," he said.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
A Caledonia Township house was damaged Sunday in a fire that took five fire departments to fight.