Do gun stores serve as gatekeepers?

We learned last week that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen tried to buy armor and ammunition at one Orlando gun shop and, was turned away.

That move likely prevented further loss of life at that nightclub. It also has local gun shop owners  looking closely at their own screening process.

“He wanted a level three armor, which is the highest civilian armory that can be purchased,” Robbie Abell, co-owner of Orlando’s “Lotus Gunworks,” said.

This begs the question. Are gun dealers the gatekeepers to our society?

“I wouldn't say we're a gatekeeper,” Steve Ou of Cedar Parks “Guns Warehouse,” said.

Ou has twelve years of experience in the firearms business. He says if a clearly deranged person wanted to buy a gun from his shop it wouldn't be easy.

“If they exhibit certain traits we feel uncomfortable with then we will not sell them a gun,” Ou said.

He says there are red flags to watch for.

“Emotionally agitated, angry, somebody comes in mentally disturbed, obviously mentally disturbed,” he said.

Another sign can be if a person comes in and requests a specific gun but has no knowledge on it or how it looks. Ou says their store abides by federal law and performs background checks.

“We do have measures in place, we have to take background checks seriously,” Ou said.

Obviously, some have slipped through the cracks in the past. Ou says in his store, besides the background checks and other measures, when it comes down to it, it's important for gun dealers to go with their gut feeling.

“We do have a moral responsibility not to just sell a gun to anybody that just walks in the door,” Ou said.

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