Mr. Koncz responds as though my challenge of background checks was the only point I made in my response to his original comments.
The cited study by Mr. Koncz was drawn from a pre-designed pool of respondents. I have no particular problem with GfK’s methodology or selection of participants but I would point out that their surveys require a “buy-in” or voluntary response from the pool. This and the other limitations the study mentioned may have had a material impact on study results as many people that own firearms are reluctant to share that information.
“Without a background check” covers a lot of ground. Background checks are generally not required for bequests or gifts between family members (subject to specific state exemptions). They also generally only are employed only for permanent transfers of ownership. However, something that most gun owners know that has not yet been revealed by background check advocates is that the federal definition of a transfer goes far beyond a simple sale. The federal definition is so broad that it includes even temporary transfers, such as allowing another person to hold a firearm, or to try another person’s firearm at a shooting range.
Senator Christopher Murphy’s S.2009, introduced in October 2017, does take into account temporary transfers at shooting ranges or for sporting purposes such as hunting. It also exempts transfers to police officers, military personnel, private security guards, gifts and loans between spouses, domestic partners, parents and their children, siblings, aunts or uncles and their nieces or nephews, or grandparents and their grandchildren. The bill also exempts transfers to transfer to an executor, administrator, trustee, or personal representative of an estate or a trust.
The imposition of background checks on face-to-face, private transactions creates a burden without offering a commensurate benefit to society.
Private citizens do not have access to the NICS (National Instant Criminal Background Check System). Only federally licensed firearm retailers can use it. Law enforcement officers and agencies are also able to access the records maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which is responsible for the NICS. This places a burden both on the parties involved in the transfer and the licensed dealer through whom the transfer must proceed.
In order to complete a transfer with a background check, the seller must contact a federally licensed dealer. The dealer must take the firearm to be transferred into his/her inventory; record it in the required bound book; obtain the purchaser’s completion of the Form 4473 and signed certification; conduct the NICS inquiry; complete the sale and relive his/her inventory of the firearm.
This goes on all the time. Internet sales of firearms from reputable sources require the gun to be shipped to a licensed dealer in the purchaser’s state of residence where the final transfer can take place.
However, it imposes an additional cost on the purchaser because the licensee most be compensated for the service. Based on personal experience, this adds $25-$50 to the cost of a firearm. This could be construed as working a hardship on lower-income individuals, thus impairing their ability to exercise their civil rights.
As I mentioned earlier and in my previous comments, the correct response to the hysteria over background checks is “So what?” It’s not like they have been particularly useful or made any significant difference in violence.
It is a supreme example of irony that Senator Murphy’s bill was introduced shortly after Stephen Paddock, who reportedly passed more than a dozen background checks over a multi-year period, killed or injured more than 600 people in Las Vegas.
Based on data available from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, background checks have not reduced homicides. In fact, they haven’t even reduced gun homicides as the percentage of murders in which a gun was used has risen since background checks went into effect. This is even true in the larger states that mandate universal background checks, including California and Maryland. Maryland enacted even tougher gun laws, requiring fingerprinting and a state background check to purchase any handgun, in 2013. Since that time, the homicide rate has risen more than 50% and the gun homicide rate has shot up more than 73%.
So the real tragedy is not so much that background checks can’t be shown to have saved lives as it is that there has been a relentless campaign of what can only be described as lies to persuade the public that they do. And when it comes to having any effect whatsoever on mass shootings, proponents of background checks commit what has to be perjury worthy of prosecution to promote their agenda.
It doesn’t matter that 40% or 22% — or any other percent — of gun sales take place without a background check. It doesn’t matter that at one time 90% of people polled in a survey were in favor of them. Of course they were in favor of them: they had been repeatedly and methodically lied to by the media and their elected legislators and representatives, up to and including the President of the United States.
Dr. Goebbels would be so proud.
Ms. Taylor was correct in her assertion that we already have effective laws on the books, and they should be enforced.
It’s high time we stopped persecuting the 80 million Americans who own guns and comply with the law for the crimes committed by a relatively tiny percentage, most of whom already operate outside of the law.