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Government shutdown: What's open?

6:29 PM, Oct 1, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., (WZZM)- Although there are federal facilities closed at this hour, many of them are still open and conducting business during the shutdown.

If you wanted to fly somewhere, you could. If you wanted to by a gun, you could do that too.

At Al and Bob's sports in Grand Rapids, the staff didn't know what to expect. For gun sales, they had to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigations. Tom Szczepanski says, "On a gun purchase, we do a background check to make sure they are approved and can purchase a gun."

It's called the National Instant Background Check System. "So, this morning, we called and said yes, they're there."

The Social Security Administration's office on Knapp Street is open and not crowded. "I went right in. Nobody was there, It worked out great," says Tom Allen.

People can still apply for benefits and are still getting their social security checks. But not all services are available. Ken Jones brought his son, Jon to the SSA to get his social security card, so he can get a state ID. He was turned away. "Well, I'm not gonna die, but I can't get a job without a state ID or social security card for that matter," says Jon. "They said come back when the shutdown is over," says Ken.

What can't wait for the shutdown, is security at the airport. For the Transportation Safety Administration, it's business as usual at Gerald Ford Airport in Cascade Township. Annette Halvorson and Beckie Southwell, had some concerns about leaving the country. "We did talk about it. We might be able to leave, but not come back. We're still going to go," says Beckie.

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