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Jan 16, 2013 7:24 PM by Angela Douglas - Q2 News

Custom rifle builder fears for the freedom of Americans

BILLINGS - President Obama rolled out his plan to curb gun violence in America Wednesday morning.

It includes new gun laws that would require action from Congress as well as steps the President is taking on his own.

The President signed 23 executive orders combating gun violence.

Among the executive orders: directing the Center for Disease Control to study gun violence and helping young people get mental health treatment.

Enforcing thorough background checks of gun buyers was a clear priority of the President.

He has also called for a ban on assault weapons and ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds, however he will need approval from Congress for new restrictions on gun sales.

Gun control is an issue that hits home for many Montanans.

Whether it's for hunting and sport, protecting livestock or defending one's self and family; guns are a part of life for many living in the Treasure State.

Don Hurd, a Billings local and longtime gun dealer, is a big advocate for the second amendment, the right to keep and bear arms.

Hurd builds custom rifles and says if the proposed legislation goes through, a pair of rifles he just designed for a customer would be considered criminal.

"In the proposal of firearms to be banned were rifles with thumbhole stocks. These two rifles I just finished each had thumbhole stocks for this customer. So now, if this goes through, it makes him an instant criminal," said Hurd. "That's not right. It will make my son a criminal. It will make just about everybody I know a criminal because this proposal has encompassed virtually every type of firearm there is."

Hurd says any loss of life from a firearm is a tragedy, but for the longtime gun owner and dealer protecting the constitution and the rights of Americans is most important to him.

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