Gaping Holes in Gun Background Check System

by macguru –

Gun store manager Christopher M. Sullivan of Guns and Guitars, who sold some of the weapons to the gunman who killed 58 and wounded over 500 people in Las Vegas last week made a statement. The gist of it was that he was sorry about the casualties, but his store performed all of the procedures required by law.

And he is most likely correct. The laws governing background checks have holes in them a Mac truck could zip through without rifling the willows on the side of the road.

The system has no trip points where any Federal agency is notified if, for instance, anyone buys an excessive number of firearms, anyone buys a particularly deadly form of weapon of mass destruction, (AK-47, AR-15, sniper rifles, hundreds of rounds of ammo, large ammo clips, etc.). No trip points for buying guns over a long period, no alerts if one buys specially damaging ammo, like armor-piercing or hollow point bullets for instance.

In short, all the system does is provide information of people’s past criminal convictions or commitment to a mental health facility. And that only if the condition was reported to the database. Some who should report those things do not because they disagree with the idea that gun sales should be inhibited.

And it only provides that info for SOME purchases of weapons of mass destruction. Gun shows are exempt, as are private sales or transfers of weapons between family members or even bequests of weapons in Wills.

The entire law needs a massive rewriting.

° Databases should have trip wires programmed into it that notifies ATF of large numbers of gun purchases by single persons or from single vendors. The NRA hates this idea, because large purchases for transfer or sale to drug cartels, along with that 3% of forest-dwellers that believes black helicopters are in their near future, make up a large part of the industry’s profits.

° The gun show loophole should be plugged tight, as should the transfers/sales between individuals. ALL sales or transfers should be recorded, from whatever source or method. It is required of and commonly accepted of cars, which are NOT designed from the drawing board for the single purpose of killing. Vehicle registration agencies can trace an automobile, truck or boat from its coming off the assembly line until it is destroyed in a wrecking yard. There is no logical reason for guns, which are designed with the single purpose of killing living things, to be traced the same way.

A complete track of a specific gun or batch of ammo ownership from manufacture to the present should be available to the ATF at the touch of a computer keyboard.

° Straw buyers, (legal buyers who purchase guns for the drug cartels, for instance) should be identified and immediately investigated.

° Any sale of large amounts of ammo, or ANY sale of especially dangerous ammo, (armor-piercing, hollow points, frangible bullets) should be monitored by ATF.

° Gun owners, even legal ones, should be required to carry the same levels of liability insurance, and produce it upon law enforcement request, as car owners do.

Guns kill as many Americans each year as cars do, so the idea not only makes sense, it also would provide some check and balance on purchases of large numbers of weapons, since proof of insurance can be required at the time of purchase, even as it is with automobiles, trucks and, in most states, even boats.

Insurance companies can establish their own restriction of the amount of liability they wish to be exposed to. Let the free market work on this problem. Victims or their relatives would then be compensated by insurance companies, leaving the state and Federal government out of victim compensation altogether.

° And the law should state clearly that the Second Amendment applies only to the “well regulated…” state militias, now known as the National Guard. Unlimited gun ownership (but not the ownership of guns itself) can then be legally restricted to reasonable amounts and types of weapon, as it should be.

The NRA will fight each restriction, citing as they always do, only the phrases of the Second Amendment that suits their purpose.They will leave out the “…well-regulated militia…” clause, because it eliminates the basic argument that gun ownership cannot in any way be restricted. Of course it can, in ways that further the public good.

They will whine about the”slippery slope.” This is an illogical argument without merit that ANY tightening of gun ownership regulations would inevitable result in ALL guns being made illegal.

That argument has a corollary; “If any restrictions on automobile sales, (one must prove capability to drive and have a driver’s licenses) would eventually result in automobile ownership being outlawed.” That argument is silly because so many Americans insist on the right of automobile ownership. A good chunk of Americans (around 20 to 30%, depending on the poll’s methodology) also own and believe they have a right to own guns. Guns will NEVER be outlawed in the United States.

And that leaves it to the 85% of Americans (including over 50% of Republicans and many legitimate gun owners) who believe some tightening of gun ownership laws is absolutely necessary to protect the citizenry from excessive violence by deadly weapons of mass destruction. Mr. Paddock should never have been allowed to amass such an excessive armory for personal use, no matter how much money he was worth.

558 casualties. Blood on the hands of the NRA and their bought and paid for congress.


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos