Proposed gun control compromise misses target for local gun shop owner

By Marshanna Hester

April 10, 2013 Updated Apr 10, 2013 at 10:38 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- John Meek is the owner of Midwestern Firearms.

He said stopping the individual committing the crime and not their choice of weapon should be the focus for lawmakers aiming for a solution to gun control.

He said questions on a background check aren't enough to keep weapons out the hands of criminals and those with mental illness. Instead, fixing a broken system is key.

"People who are mentally disturbed, that information needs to be reported and kept track of so these people aren't allowed to purchase guns to prevent these crimes," Meek said.

The proposal in the U.S. Senate would expand background checks to include firearms bought online and at gun shows.

But Meek said checks are already in place.

He said internet purchases must be shipped to a dealer, who then requires the individual to go through another check in person.

"The problem I think we see sometimes is ineligible individuals receiving firearms from a relative or friend that shouldn't happen," he continued.

The Senate deal leaves that loophole open, leaving family members to exchange weapons without any restrictions.

Gun owner Stephen Peak said stiffer penalties and better enforcement is needed for change, but gun control will remain a target.

"As the rural areas disappear and we become more urbanized and less familiar with firearms, there is always going to be that issue," said Peak.