Gun control advocates consider gun store owners “merchants of death.” They label store owners in low-income areas “bad apples” (when a small but above average percentage of their legally purchased firearms show up at crime scenes). In fact, gun store owners are law-abiding businessmen defending and extending Americans’ natural, civil and Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Men and women who are unappreciated gatekeepers against criminals, crazies and terrorists. Ohio gun store owner John Downs [above] is one such man, as wreg.com reports . . .
John Downs knows most of his customers who come in to his bait and gun store in Logan. But Downs said even though James Howard [below] passed a background check, he refused to let the guy purchase a long gun. Downs said Howard sounded like he was gearing up to harm himself and possibly others.
“I just said, ‘You know what bud, I have a really bad feeling about this, I just can’t sell you the gun,’” Downs, owner of Downs Bait and Guns, recalled.
Downs said Howard was angry when he left the store.
That wasn’t the end of it . . .
The former hockey player who lived in Athens, where Ohio University is located, returned an hour or so later.
Downs said he turned off the open sign, locked the door, called 911 and hid his customers in the back room.
“We loaded three guns up, and hopefully he didn’t try to come through the door, thank you Lord,” Downs said.
“He had a enormous amount of ammunition he was going to purchase, shotgun shells and 22-caliber rifle ammunition,” Hocking County Sheriff Lanny North said.
The sheriff said students’ and staff members’ lives may have been at risk since Howard already had purchased a gun at an Athens store.
“From what I know of the circumstances, I believe he did prevent a mass shooting that was probably going to occur at OU in Athens,” North said.
Don’t get your knickers in a twist at the Sheriff’s implication that Howard’s “arsenal” was the cause of the lawman’s suspicions. nbc4i.com:
Police say Howard reportedly entered a staff member’s office at Bird Arena around noon on Monday, shoved the staff member, and “attempted to strike him with a closed fist.”
They say he then left campus. Police were later told that Howard planned to buy a gun. OUPD obtained warrants for his arrest and notified surrounding law enforcement agencies for help locating him.
Police said the 25-year-old was a man with a “known history of mental health issues.” He’d previously been involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility. After the gun buying episode, Howard was arrested on burglary and weapons charges.
For his quick thinking, righteous reaction and simply selling guns to law-abiding Americans, John Downs is our Gun Hero of the Day.