Perhaps I wasn’t clear.

Background intra-family transfers aren’t required in the states that do require background checks for private transfers. That’s a universal rule; the only variations come in what different states regard as family.

Wow! What if… ? Yeah, what if. While I know of no statistics of the use of guns transferred from other family members in criminal acts or suicide, but that wouldn’t cover the unauthorized use of family firearms by a member of the family.

I do know of two mass shootings in which the killers used guns provided by parents. That would be Thurston High School (Kip Kinkel) and Sandy Hook. I am not sure of the exact circumstances, but there were reports that Kinkel’s parents bought him the guns on the recommendation of a psychologist who thought that target shooting might help channel some of his tendencies. In Adam Lanza’s case, there is some discussion as to whether Nancy Lanza purchased the guns for herself or on behalf of her son. Adam Lanza may have selected the guns he wished for her to buy, but we have no way of knowing that. We do know that Adam Lanza did have access to the locked storage compartment where the guns were kept. However, Nancy Lanza could not have transferred the guns to Adam Lanza because he did not have a state-issued license to possess a firearm. We do know that all guns in the Lanza household were legally purchased with by Nancy Lanza, who held a state police-issued permit to purchase. In accordance with Connecticut law, the Bushmaster rifle was registered with the state. Mrs. Lanza also had the required permit to own the Bushmaster rifle.

What would your suggested laws have changed? Nothing. Kip Kinkel was a minor child and ineligible to purchase or own a firearm under existing Oregon law. His parents were responsible for the safe use and storage of the guns. They were also the first people Kinkel murdered. Adam Lanza had access to the gun cabinet and he murdered his mother on the day he invaded Sandy Hook Elementary School.

As the people of Toronto discovered Monday, registration, limitations on permitted firearms and magazine capacities, licenses to purchase and possess, safety training requirements (two different courses are required for purchasing and owning a handgun and small handguns and large capacity magazines are prohibited) don’t stop a person from committing a horrible act. It was almost inevitable that the mayor of Toronto lamented the number of guns and incidence of gun violence in his city. He said there is no reason for anyone in Toronto to own a gun at all. Just how he expects to make that happen is anybody’s guess.

Incidentally, you are obviously unfamiliar with the requirements for owning a firearm in European countries. 30 minutes might be enough time to learn what will be required. This is why killers often go to countries like Belgium, where the laws are still strict but there are places that are thriving black markets. This is where the terrorists who murdered all those people in Paris got their guns.

The insanity behind gun control is a belief that passing a law, or even a group of laws will do anything. We already have laws that prohibit sales of guns to or possession of guns by:

  1. People who have been convicted of felonies and misdemeanor domestic violence;
  2. People who have been adjudicated as being mentally incompetent or present a danger to themselves or others;
  3. Those who are fugitives from justice;
  4. Users of illegal drugs (although alcoholics are exempted);
  5. Persons who have received a dishonorable discharge from the military;
  6. Persons who are in the U.S. illegally;
  7. Persons who do not possess a resident alien card;
  8. Anyone who has renounced their U.S. citizenship.

Not only is it a federal offense for any of the above to purchase or possess a firearm, it is also a federal offense for anyone to knowingly transfer, even temporarily, a gun to them or to buy a gun for them. Maximum penalties for violations range up to ten years in a federal penitentiary and a $250,000 fine. This law has been on the books for 50 years. It’s been illegal for a felon to possess a firearm for 80 years, since the Federal Firearms Act of 1938.

There are laws against murder; there are laws against assault; there are laws against carrying guns; there are laws governing where and when a gun may be discharged. There are laws that make the presence of a firearm during the commission of a crime an aggravating circumstance, even if the gun is never used or displayed.

At what point in time is it going to suddenly dawn on gun control fans that criminals don’t obey laws? When will there be a realization that people intent on committing violence don’t care about the law?

When the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention wanted to do something about the use of firearms in suicide, who did they partner with? The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the gun industry’s trade and lobbying group. They are putting together a program to help gun dealers identify people who may be trying to buy a gun to end their own lives.

Incidentally, the National Shooting Sports Foundation is also the group that operates Project ChildSafe, a program that has so far distributed more than 37 million gun safety kits, including a gun lock, through law enforcement agencies nationwide. The program is so well-regarded that the Department of Justice gave the NSSF a $2.4 million grant to expand it. The fact that the grant was roundly condemned in the media was almost unbelievable — the idiots never even looked into what the grant was for.

News flash! The gun dealers that gun control advocates love to demonize are actually the first line of defense against gun violence. Why? Because a gun dealer can refuse to make a sale. Even if the person passes a background check, a dealer who feels uncomfortable making a sale can refuse it — legally.

Registration? A belief in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy would be rational in comparison to a belief that a registration system would work in the United States. In the first place, a gun registry is prohibited by federal law, specifically the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. Sure, the act could be repealed but what good would that do?

None.

New York state passed the SAFE Act in 2013. Under the terms of the new law, owners of a variety of firearms were required to register them with the state police. In 2016, after being ordered by a court to comply with a FOIA request, the NYSP released compliance data. Out of an estimated million of the firearms covered by the SAFE Act, about 44,000 had been registered in a two-year period. That’s 4.4% in a state that has a history of gun control. How’s it going to play out in Montana? Idaho? Georgia?

There are 80 million gun owners in the U.S. Some will comply, so won’t. A lot won’t. Why? There’s no way for the government to know who has guns, what guns they have or where they are. This was one of the flaws in the universal background check laws passed in Colorado and Washington. Since the police didn’t know who had what guns, there was no way for them to know what transfer were taking place.

Gun control advocates have this wonderful fantasy about citizens complying due to fears of the police and criminal charges. Of course, this goes along with their belief in compliance.

What they don’t realize is that they don’t have the police. While police chiefs are almost marching in lockstep with the gun control fans, they are politicians. Rank-and-file cops are a bit different. Back in 2013, there was a survey of police officers. A participant had to be currently serving or retired law enforcement officer. 91% of them saw armed citizens as being beneficial and an aid to law enforcement. Moreover, there are already county sheriffs that refuse to enforce laws they regard as unconstitutional. This includes some sheriffs in upstate New York who don’t believe the SAFE Act was a good idea.

Even if the rules of the Posse Comitatus Act were lifted and military forces could be used to augment the remaining police forces, there would still be problems. Members of the military take an oath to defend the Constitution. Not the government, the Constitution. It would be impossible to force soldiers to act against their fellow citizens.

Moreover, the scale of noncompliance would make the law unenforceable. It would overwhelm the justice system. There wouldn’t be enough courts to try the case, jails to hold violators pending trial or prisons to hold those convicted.

It would be another Prohibition or War on Drugs and we all know how well those worked out.

Ban fans like to say that the buying frenzy that went from late 2008 to roughly 2013 was just gun owners stocking up. So how do they explain that fact that issuances of concealed carry permits have been setting records? About 16.4 million Americans have carry permits and twelve states don’t even require them.

In the face of all this, how is it possible for people to think that their useless laws — and I do mean useless — are going to make things different?

People talk about the wonders of the original Assault Weapons Ban. Yes, the homicide rate did go down during the AWB. It almost had to: the homicide rate in 1993 was the highest recorded in the past 36 years. In 2014, ten years after the ban expired, the homicide rate hit its lowest point since 1958. It was down nearly 51% compared to 1993 after a gun-buying spree that lasted five years. In fact, the drop in the gun homicide rate was more that the drop in the total homicide rate.

Some claim that the problem with the original AWB was the loopholes. Well, almost every one of those loopholes is alive and well in the Assault Weapons Ban of 2018. I know; I have read the entire text of the new bill.

Incidentally, you claim to know what gun owners want. Has anyone ever contracted with the NRA or the Gun Owners of America to find out how their members feel about gun control laws? Has anyone ever tried to survey those who hold concealed-carry permits? How about residents of Idaho or Montana? Has anyone ever asked survey participants how they feel about gun control in the context of its many failures? Has anyone ever conducted an honest survey?

Did the recent studies by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the Rand Corporation find that the evidence for the impact of gun control laws was inconclusive because there really isn’t any evidence?

I am under no illusion that I will change your beliefs. But I will challenge them, if only to rock the boat a bit.

Professional writer. Passionately interested in facts. Founder of onewordtexas.org

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