Thursday, April 19, 2007

The gun law that we need.

Slate, proposed a gun law that will supposedly "make a difference" I am doubtful. He proposes that background checks should be done for gun sales between individuals.

The law we need doesn't address a narrow class of guns, and it relies on the principles of a law we already have: the Brady Law. Brady mandates a federal background check before the sale of a gun by any seller who holds a federal firearms license. It applies to Internet gun deals, gun-shop purchases, and sales by FFL sellers at gun shows. It does not apply, however, to the estimated 40 percent of gun transfers that take place between individuals: non-FFL sellers at those same gun shows, and person-to-person sales made through personal contacts or Internet and print classified ads. That's a far larger volume of guns and gun sales than HR 1022 would affect. As our law stands now, anyone may sell a gun to anyone else; the FFL is required only of those who do so as a commercial venture. Sellers without an FFL may not buy and sell new guns for retail, but may trade in used guns—without background checks—to their heart's content. The bill we need would address that large loophole by requiring that every transfer of ownership be preceded by a Brady background check.
Would this have prevented the VTU shootings? No, he bought the gun legally, presumably passed the background check.

Would this have prevented the Columbine shootings? No, they obtained those guns illegally.

Criminals, by definition, don't follow the law. The Brady law is at best just a nuisance for law abiding citizens. At worst, the records are being illegally kept for a future confiscation effort.

I was happy to see the results of this poll.

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