‘Small step forward;’ New rule regulates gun modification used by Oregon District shooter

Correction: A previous version of this story stated the new regulations by the ATF as a new “law”, this is incorrect as the changes were a result of a new ruling by the ATF.

New gun regulations will make it more difficult for someone to turn a handgun into a semi-automatic rifle like the one used in the Oregon District mass shooting.

The regulation aims to make it more difficult to obtain some attachments and modifications Conner Betts used in the 2019 mass shooting.

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Betts modified a pistol and made it function as a semi-automatic rifle that killed nine people and injured 27. City of Dayton Mayor, Jeffrey J. Mims Jr. was a City Commissioner when the mass shooting happened.

“We keep making it easier for them, with the laws we have and the lack of restrictions and controls. They’re generally people that want to do harm to large numbers of individuals,” said Mims on why he thinks people make modifications to guns.

It does not outlaw using stabilizing braces to convert pistols into rifles, commonly called short barrel rifles. It does, however, require a gun owner to pay an extra $200 tax, register the gun, and required background checks for transfers of that weapon to anyone, including family and friends.

Joe Eaton of Buckey Firearms Association believes the key to protecting people in schools and places like the Oregon District is not to wait for the police to arrive but for responsible gun owners who can protect themselves.

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“Have they had every opportunity to decide how to keep themselves, their families, or in this case, the children they are responsible for every day safe,” said Eaton.

Mims says, “this is just one small step forward for protection.” He wants to see some weapons banned and universal background checks implemented.

“Clearly not enough, the background checks on a wide scale basis is something that needs to be done,” said Mims.

The changesare because of what happened in the Oregon District. The Dayton community is moving forward from what happened almost four years ago, with plans for a memorial to honor those killed and injured in the tragedy.