Bellevue gun shop owner urges changes to AR-15 sales here after Florida shooting

BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Jason Cazes has been selling guns at for the past 15 years in Bellevue.

He's always been quick to fight off gun control.

But the 17 deaths that happened at the Parkland, Florida, high school on Wednesday is forcing him to budge on one thing.

“The kids, the senselessness of it, the evil, what’s in this world,” Cazes said.

A world now where he worries about sending his 7-year-old daughter to school.

“This morning I woke up with this in my heart and I have the answers,” Cazes said.

For the first time, this gun shop owner wants some rules to change.

Currently in Washington state, you need to be only 18 to buy a long gun like an AR-15 but 21 to buy a handgun.

“It makes sense to me to bump it to 21 like handguns,” Cazes said.

That's because Cazes says the Florida shooter was 19 and he also points to Allen Ivanov, who was also 19 at the time, when the Mukilteo teenager shot and killed three high school students in a jealous rage over his ex-girlfriend.

“They are not emotionally mature enough to handle it, they have to be 21 to get an AR-15, I am sorry,” Cazes said.

Cazes also says the background check to get a handgun is more rigorous than to purchase a long gun.

For a handgun, you have to fill out two forms to undergo an FBI check and a state background check but long guns you only need to fill out the federal form to pass the FBI check. Customers who pass can then walk away with a long gun in one day. Because of the extra state background check on handguns, people without a permit end up waiting up to 10 days sometimes to get the handgun.

“What the state does is do further checks of state records, which are looking for mental illness and possibly connecting dots on domestic violence that didn’t show up on the federal database yet,” Cazes said.

It's an idea that Cazes knows he will get a lot of pushback on from his own side but he says he is used to opposition.

"I've been here in the liberal bubble in the last 15 years I've been doing it; I am not scared of the opposition," Cazes said.

He says raising the age to 21 for all long guns is not going to make all the difference but it could make some.

“We have got to meet in the middle. There is give and take here, I am willing to do a little more work and sell a little less guns to protect my Second Amendment rights,” Cazes said.

Because the last thing he ever wants is any type of a gun or ammunition ban.

“Banning AR-15s was done 10 years ago -- it did not bring down violent crime. If you look at the crime stats, it doesn’t work, take them all away, guess what? They are not all away. Then you take mine away. Criminals will have them,” Cazes said.

Instead of extreme solutions on both ends, he says, people have to be open to hear the other side to come up with solutions.

“We have beliefs we hold so tight and we have to protect them even if it’s not effective, it’s human nature,” Cazes said.

Cazes says some may oppose banning long guns for 18 year-olds saying some that age sign up for the military already willing to die serving their country. In those cases, Cazes believes there should be exceptions for those young people who group through military bootcamp and training.

The Bellevue gun shop owner is also calling on people to report suspicious people and not to assume someone else will do it.

“If we notice an issue, bring it up to someone -- that might be able to help. Police, FBI, make phone calls, say I’m worried about this individual,” Cazes said.

Cazes says a good site to get information on guns is

There are bills in Olympia similar to the ideas brought up by Cazes. HB 1387 and SB 5444. The bills aim to enhance background checks and also raise the age to buy a long gun to 21 years of age.

But Cazes is not in favor of limiting large capacity magazines something that is apart of the measures in Olympia.

Insiders say the bills do not have the support to pass this year

but Cazes hopes that by speaking out that some things will change especially when it comes to the age limit of purchasing a long gun.