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Gun control debate sparks up in wake of Las Vegas shooting

Police investigate a mass shooting Sunday, October 1, 2017, on the Las Vegas Strip. (KSNV)

(WOLF) -- “There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now it’s time to unite as a country.”

Earlier today, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders refused to answer questions about stricter gun laws after a shooter opened fire on thousands of country music festivalgoers on the Las Vegas strip Sunday night.

Its now the deadliest in modern day U.S. history.

Gun control activists say the time for discussion is now.

“People can’t get a pass on this anymore. They’ve been able to hide behind it for too long, behind those platitudes of “oh its too early,” “condolences, this is a time for thoughts and prayers, this is not the time for action.” It is the time for action,” Shira Goodman said.

Goodman is the Executive Director for CeaseFire PA, a statewide organization working to reduce gun violence.

She says there are common sense measures legislators can take that don’t infringe on the rights of law-abiding gun owners, but help keep them out of the wrong hands.

“People up your way who want guns for hunting or for sportsman or even for self-protection – they don’t want to see this. They don’t want to read about people killed every day in the cities, they don’t want to read about these suicides by people who have guns in their homes, they don’t want to read about mass shootings.”

Police have not yet said how the at least 17 guns found in the hotel room of the shooter were purchased.

A worker we spoke to at The Cabin shooting range in Wilkes-Barre says stricter gun laws could make things more complicated.

“Personally the way I look at it is criminals, if they want a gun or firearm, they’re going to get one. More strict gun laws, they’re kind of only going to inhibit and they’re going to control law-abiding citizens from getting firearms. Criminals don’t care about laws,” Megan McHugh, Assistant Sales Manager, said.

She says when faced with violence, people should have the ability to defend themselves.

“Innocent law-abiding citizens should have the right to level the playing field and be able to defend themselves so I believe that that’s the common ground, that everyone believes criminals shouldn’t have it, but that’s never going to happen.”

In addition to the 17 guns found inside the shooter's hotel room, investigators say they've also found 18 more firearms, explosives, and several thousand rounds of ammunition in the shooter's home.

Next Thursday, Representatives Karen Boback, Aaron Kaufer, and Tarah Toohil are expected to host a concealed carry seminar in Luzerne.

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