Welcome to Common Gunsense

I hope this blog will provoke some thoughtful reflection about the issue of guns and gun violence. I am passionate about the issue and would love to change some misperceptions and the culture of gun violence in America by sharing with readers words, photos, videos and clips from articles to promote common sense about gun issues. Many of you will agree with me- some will not. I am only one person but one among many who think it's time to do something about this national problem. The views expressed by me in this blog do not represent any group with which I am associated but are rather my own personal opinions and thoughts.
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Thursday, October 7, 2010

Let's talk about background checks

Since I asked about background checks in my blog, "Where there is an open mind...", I am, in this post, going to quote some of the responses. The responses varied and were lengthy, but the majority of commenters clearly did not like the idea of requiring background checks on all sales of guns at gun shows, let alone on all private gun sales.

The history of requiring background checks for gun sales at Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers (FFL) goes back to the enactment of the Brady Bill in 1994. The purpose of the law was to prohibit felons and others who should not be able to purchase guns from legally buying them. A system was established that required forms at the site of the purchase to be filled out by anyone purchasing from an FFL. The name on the form is then checked through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) which determines whether the person on the form should be prohibited from purchasing. At the time of the passage of the bill, one group of sellers was not included- gun collectors ( private sellers) who exhibit at gun shows. This is the "loophole" that those of us working to prevent gun injuries and deaths would like to close. It would make the law consistent with gun sellers who sell as licensed dealers in stores or gun shows. At this time, there are bills in both the House and the Senate to close the "gunshow loophole". Neither has yet received a formal hearing or vote.

Below are a sampling of the many responses to my questions about background checks. And as I have already mentioned, these are only some of them; some people put their responses up on their own blogs. Some responses did not do anything to further the discussion about the issue, and some were just plain provacative and cynical with no apparent regard for being serious about the topic. But first, the 3 questions I asked:
  1. Do you believe that criminals and domestic abusers should be able to buy guns without background checks?
  2. What is your proposal for keeping guns away from criminals, domestic abusers, terrorists and dangerously mentally ill people?
  3. Do you believe that a background check infringes on your constitutional right to "keep and bear arms"?
And the responses: 
  • I do not support background checks for private sales--but would not object to a simple and free system that does not impose record-keeping requirements on me."
  • I believe that if you are not the sort of person who can be trusted with a gun, you are not the sort of person who can be trusted without a custodian. If someone is a criminal, he should be in jail. Assault, whether domestic or not, is a crime. They should be treated no differently than any other criminal. Terrorism is a crime. Convict them and jail them too. Finally, the dangerously mentally ill. There are procedures available to commit them to mental institutions. Unless you are willing to commit them to the care of medical professionals, you really don’t think that they are dangerous, do you? You will see that there is a pattern here. Instead of bothering me with gun laws, round up the dangerous people and confine them."
  •  I do not believe a process that only verifies that I have not had my right remove is a violation of my second amendment right but I do think it is a violation of my fifth amendment rights if information is collected about me during a background check or gun purchases."
  •  I don't think it can be done short of a complete ban on guns, and that will only keep guns away from the less dedicated ones. All the other gun-control measures your organization advocates will fail to prevent access, just as our past century of gun control has. Background checks are childishly easy to circumvent (_everybody_ knows somebody with a clean record). As is true in most cases, the best we can do is hope to deter bad behavior by being good at reacting to it. "
  • Until we have powerful wizards that can cast spells on these individuals so that any gun they touch turns to dust ... this is impossible. And even if you keep guns away from them, can you keep truckloads of fertilizer, boxcutters, or heavy vehicles that can be rammed into crowds of people out of their hands? Dangerous people don't care about the law and don't mind stealing what they can't get legally.
    But people don't become "dangerous" because they are able to find a gun; people become dangerous because they're mentally tweaked, and if history proves anything it's that violent people who want to kill will find a way. Here is my post on non-gun mass murders."
  • I actually don't have a problem with a background check per se. I do have a problem with the government knowing where every gun is and who owns it. That would invalidate the political protections of the 2nd amendment. Would you anti-gun types consider background checks and a promise to then destroy every record that the check took place?"
  • I don't think constitutional rights actually mean anything in the real world, other than being a placebo for real rights. However, the law must be consistent, or confusion results. Having the base document of your government say that the government absolutely will not infringe on the personal ability to buy, own, and bear weapons and then having it be heavily regulated in practice, as it is now, with whole swaths of different weapons being restricted or entirely prohibited, creates unacceptable confusion and friction. If I had my preference, however, I would err on the side of personal liberty, as it taxes the executive far less than the alternative, and leaves them free to do important things, like keep the borders secure and stop crimes."
  • Only those with felony convictions should be denied any constitutional rights. Since there is no evidence that “background checks” prevent convicts from obtaining weapons, and considerable evidence to show that they interfere with the lawful transfer of firearms, I oppose them on principle. "
  • Let's define criminal first -- how about the people who get parking tickets or the people who are arrested peacefully protesting an injustice; they are criminals along with the people who cheat on their taxes or import crab in the wrong type of bag. Personally, I think that if a person can not be trusted with a firearm, they shouldn't be on the street."
  • Why is the Right to keep and Bear Arms treated so differently by your crowd. Can't be "public good"; you don't apply the same restrictions to those convicted of drunk driving, of drunk in public or fraud or thousands of other crimes."
  • I do not believe it should be legal for convicted criminals to purchase guns. I do not think it should be think it should be a legal requirement to provide the government with information on gun purchases or ownership unless the government is barred from using that information against the person providing it. I do not have a problem with an easily and freely accessible database of prohibited buyers."
  • A background check by itself, no. But I'm not convinced they can be implemented without--as the current system does--seriously burdening the market, driving up prices and driving down accessibility, which we don't generally regard as acceptable where Constitutional rights are concerned.
    Can you imagine an advocacy group dedicated to stamping out illegal use of expression (like libel and inciting riot) by pushing for background checks on books, which required all book sales to go through licensed dealers, banned the transfer of books by mail order (so that you can only buy online by having it shipped to your local licensed bookstore and paying them a transfer fee), and outlawing the interstate purchase of political and religious books (which, of course, are responsible for the greatest percentage of book deaths)? This is made worse by the fact, again, that background checks don't and can't _work_. There will always, always be straw buyers. "
  • I have Just One Question for you: Can you demonstrate one time or place, throughout all history, where the average person was made safer by restricting access to handheld weapons?"
  • I believe convicted felons should not be able buy or own firearms."
  • For me ... I think the current system of background checks for new gun purchases and civilian gun exchanges done without is the best we can do. I think there should be sufficient online and freely available resources that civilians can do background checks on potential buyers (a person's status as a convicted felon is NOT considered private and is available in various ways) as I and other gun owners have no desire to sell to criminals. And there should be a penalty for knowingly selling a firearm to a prohibited person (which there also is). Other than that ... unless we come up with some scarlet letter for dangerous felons to wear around for all to see, we've done as much as we can."
  • But the real problem here is that the "100% background check" (no background check, no gun, no excuses) Brady goal is really just a means to an end, with the end being 100% gun registration. I have no problem with a background check that is performed and then the results tossed out. But then ... how do you prove it was done at all after the fact and enforce laws that require it? You have to accept that you can't."
  • I hate to answer a question with another question, but to what purpose does this question serve? If I had the knowledge of all the criminals and domestic abusers in the world, and I had the ability to prevent them from getting firearms I would do so. However, I might as well wish for the ability to remove evil in the world, as many things are felonious that are quite silly indeed (for instance, smoking pot. We do not charge those of age with felonies when they drink alcohol or, say, imbibe salvia, so why should anyone who's smoked a joint and gotten caught prohibited from owning a firearm?), and many people I would prohibit from owning firearms (like those who can't keep their stinking finger off the stinking trigger) who are nonviolent nonfelons. Further, even if I could keep every person I deemed unfit (and none I deemed fit) to handle a gun from owning on legally, there is no way to keep them from owning them illegally, for further evidence of this, see Mexico and our own analog with the drug trade. Finally, I must ask, why are we letting people out of jail who we have deemed so irresponsible that we wish to prohibit them from owning high-energy yield devices? If I cannot trust a man with a gun, a car, a chainsaw, a knife, or anything else, why is he out of jail?"
  • I don’t think that criminals (by which I assume you mean violent felons, not misdemeanants and non-violent offenders; I see no justification for disqualifying the latter groups from gun ownership) and domestic abusers should be able to buy guns, full stop.  I think they should be in jail.  I don’t want people who’ve been adjudicated a danger to society running around loose; lock them up until we’re convinced that they won’t reoffend."

This editorial points out how background checks can save lives. Most of the comments above do not agree that background checks would make a difference and are opposed to background checks on all gun sales at gun shows. I remind my readers that these background checks would not change much for law abiding citizens who intend no harm with a gun. Background checks are required by Federally Licensed Firearms Dealers. Buyers expect to do the paperwork for the background checks from an FFL so it wouldn't be that different if the paperwork was required on all sales at gun shows. There are usually many private sellers at gun shows, some of whom sell large collections of all types of firearms, as I have pointed out before. Recent reports and under cover videos show how easy it is for anyone to purchase a firearm from a private seller at a gun show with no background check. It has been estimated by the ATF that gun shows provide up to 30% of traced crime guns. It seems to me that the protests about closing this loophole are overreaction. As long as someone can pass a background check, they should have no reason to be opposed to being required to have one for any purchase of a firearm. The public has shown in poll after poll after poll over many years, that they favor this measure. It makes common sense to me. 

40 comments:

  1. We do not believe that you will be satisfied with closing the gun show loophole, most gun control activists want to expand background checks to cover all private sales, creating a defacto gun registry. An example of this is Illinois, where a Firearms Owner ID card that requires a background check is required for any purchase--The Brady Campaign still wants an additional background check for each individual gun transaction.

    I do not categorically oppose a requirement for background checks if it is done in a way that can't be used to build a registry, and that does not add cost to gun transactions. In cases where the purchaser holds evidence that they already had a background check--a current gun license, Illinois FOID, carry license, etc--it should be legal to skip the background check. This sort of identification should be issued on request at nominal cost to anyone who qualifies, and it should be legal to use for other purposes, such as proof of a clean record for employment.

    Would something like this satisfy you? If not, what else would you require?

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  2. Let us be clear about what you want.
    1. Absolutely NO private sales. All guns have to go through an FFL. No father to son, no husband to wife, no inheriting my grandfather's rifle when he dies unless I spend $40 to get the transfer through an FFL.

    2. Jail time for violating this law. Husband dies, wife doesn't take guns to FFL for transfer, wife gets caught - wife goes to jail.

    3. Registration. Without a list of gun owners, how can the cops tell if a proper transfer was done? Currently, to trace the cops call the manufacturer. Manufacturer tells them the distributer, distributer tells them the gun store (FFL), and the gun store pulls out a copy of the Form 4473 and reads the name and address of the person who he sold it to. Let’s say I want to sell my gun to Joe. We take it to an FFL and do a transfer (all legal, like you want) Joe does a crime, gets killed, or just drops dead of a heart attack in his home. Cops find the gun, how do I prove I sold it to him legally? The cops have no idea which FFL I used. 15 years from now I may have lost the paper. Solution? Registration. All sales registered with the police.

    Maybe I haven't made this clear. If you manage to get a registration bill passed, in any form and I will publicly refuse to comply. I will stand up on national TV and say NO. I will not be alone. What are you willing to do to gain compliance from us? Are you willing to order the police to shoot us? Do you think that they will obey that order? If they do, do you think they will enjoy being completely outnumbered? If Canada couldn't get compliance, how exactly do you think you can do it here?

    Another, further, thought for you to chew on. Less than 2 years ago you had a filibuster proof majority in the US Senate, a huge advantage in the US House of Reps, and the most anti-gun president ever. What happened? Open Carry went mainstream. Even Obama said OC was legal. National Park carry passed. McDonald has put localities on notice that the 2nd Amendment is enforceable on localities. Your gun show “loophole” bills are in the legislature in this environment and what has happened? “Neither has yet received a formal hearing or vote.”

    You are fighting a losing battle. You are getting turned back at every chance. The only thing you have a chance to win is on the re-importation of WWII era rifles from Korea. And there is legislation to fix that in the works already. You've lost and don't want to admit it. In the first 3 months of 2009 enough new firearms were sold to Americans to give one brand new firearm (pistol, rifle, or shotgun) to each and every member of the Chinese Red Army. IN. THREE. MONTHS. You may as well try to ban breathing.

    And you have the unmitigated gall to claim “these background checks would not change much for law abiding citizens who intend no harm with a gun.”

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  3. In Minnesota, there is a one year permit to acquire for handguns and assault type guns. This permit must be shown when purchasing from an FFL. Obviously, it is not required when purchasing from a private seller. Our local sheriff would like to see this one year permit for all gun sales because then he would be able to do a local background check on each purchaser every year. It is for the purpose of making sure eveyone who is purchasing a gun is a legal purchaser and nothing to do with registration. Would that satisfy you?

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  4. Sean- I'm well aware of the poltical realities. I'm not going away. In the current bills, there is nothing about background checks for family member transfer of guns. Let's just hope that all of your family members are law abiding. #2 is an interesting scenario but not in any of our bills and would likely be excluded in any bill. I have friends who have inherited guns and don't want them. They have brought them to local gun dealers or law enforcement so they don't get back into the illegal market. They were not arrested. You present some interesting scenarios and have tried to find absolutely every objection you can to reasonable legislation. Believe me, we are not out to get you or your guns.

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  5. Yes, indeed, no one is out to get you or your guns. What some of us want is to make it much harder for bad guys to get them.

    I say we need full licensing and registration. Backgkround checks on every transfer. Unlike, Sean's sarcastic scenario about the guy who dies and his wife goes to jail, this could be done in a reasonable way.

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  6. I am unfamiliar with the Minnesota scheme--depending on details, it could be very close to what I propose, or it could be unnecessarily restrictive and intrusive.

    Is the process for obtaining the license simple, inexpensive and fast? Is there a maximum time to issue the license, and recourse if this time is exceeded? Is this instead of other background checks, or in addition?

    And do we get anything in return, or are we supposed to agree to another restriction simply because it isn't as bad as it could be?

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  7. Minnesota law: " State Requirements

    Purchase

    A handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon may be sold by a dealer to a person who presents a handgun transferee permit or carry permit, or to a person who has undergone a seven day waiting period where a transfer report has been filed.
    A transferee permit may be obtained at no cost from the police chief of a municipality or the county sheriff.

    The information requested consists of name, residence, telephone number, driver's license number or non-qualification certificate number, sex, date of birth, height, weight, eye color, and a statement attesting that the transferee does not fall into any of the disqualifying categories listed under Possession below.

    The police chief or sheriff investigates the applicant and must issue or deny the transferee permit within seven days.

    A transferee permit is good statewide for one year to purchase one or more handguns either at one time or at intervals throughout the year.

    A person without a transferee permit or carry permit must utilize a transfer report in order to purchase a handgun or semiautomatic military-style assault weapon.

    The transfer report contains the identification information and statement attesting qualification as required in the transferee permit, and must be signed by the transferor and the proposed recipient.

    The transferor must deliver the report to the police chief or sheriff no later than three days after the date of the agreement to transfer, excluding weekends and legal holidays.

    No fee is charged for the transfer report.

    Upon receipt of a transfer report, the police chief or sheriff investigates the potential recipient.

    A handgun or assault weapon cannot be delivered until fivedays until after the agreement to transfer is delivered to the police chief sheriff.

    The police may waive all or part of the seven day waiting period.

    At the end of five days, the handgun or assault weapon may be transferred if the transferor hears nothing unfavorable from the police. There is no restriction on the number of handguns or assault weapons a person may acquire as part of a single transfer report.

    Once a police determination has been made that a handgun or assault weapon recipient is not prohibited from possessing a handgun or assault weapon, the recipient may, within 30 days after the determination, apply to the police chief or sheriff for a handgun or assault weapon transferee permit, and the permit shall be issued.

    A person transferring a handgun or assault weapon to a person exhibiting a transferee permit or carry permit is not required to file a handgun or assault weapon transfer report.

    After a determination has been made that the person receiving a handgun or assault weapon is not precluded from possessing one, the person may request that no record be kept of the fact that he is the recipient of a handgun or assault weapon.

    The police chief or sheriff shall sign the transfer report and return it to the person receiving the handgun or assault weapon. Thereafter, no government employee or agency shall maintain a record of the transfer that identifies the person who received the handgun or assault weapon.

    The requirements of a transferee permit, permit to carry, or report of transfer and a seven day waiting period do not apply to transfers between federally licensed firearm dealers or transfers of antique firearms acquired as curiosities or for their historical significance or value.

    No person shall transfer a handgun or assault weapon to another who is not personally known to the transferor unless the proposed recipient presents evidence of his identity.

    Each firearm dealer shall display a warning in block letters stating, "IT IS UNLAWFUL TO STORE OR LEAVE A LOADED FIREARM WHERE A CHILD CAN OBTAIN ACCESS.""

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  8. Here's a more efficient way to do it. Anyone who is not prohibited from purchase gets a code on his driver's license. EVERYONE. whether you ask for one or not, your license is coded. Sort of like how some states give you a different background in your photo if you are under 21. Those coded "clear" can buy whatever they want without hassle. Since it is a simple code to read, even I can read to tell whether or not I can sell to you.

    Since a fundamental right is at stake, you have to acknowledge that unless someone has been proven in a court of law to be guilty of a crime or a mental case, they have the right to purchase.

    If you make the code good for concealed carry as well, you'd have so many allies on our side that you'd be lost in the rush to get the law passed.

    It's a win/win. You get assurance that everyone is cleared by the police before they purchase, and we get assurance that no registration happens.

    What you are actually asking for is a sort of prior restraint on the free exercise of a fundamental right. Unless I think to beg permission beforehand and get my purchase permit, I have to wait 5 days for that permission.

    Better for everyone if we just pre clear everyone.

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  9. Are you in a hurry when you buy your guns, Sean?

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  10. Depends, is it a good deal on a rare weapon that I'm going to lose because I didn't beg permission from the cops this year?

    A better question, when I want to buy a gun are you in a hurry to stop me? Why?

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  11. On a local MN gun forums, there are hundreds of "face to face" firearms sales that have taken place, and looking through the posts, EVERY seller has stated that a permit to purchase or a permit to carry is required for the sale.

    The reason for this is simple... It's a felony to knowingly sell a prohibited person a firearm. And if you are a felon, then you are ineligible of owning or possessing firearms. Noone I know want to take that risk.

    At all of the major MN gun shows, over 95% of the firearms sellers are FFL dealers, and federally required to run a background check.

    To Joan, the author of the blog, I would be happy to accompany you to a gun show, if not only to show you how hard it is to get a gun without providing information... You may be surprised. :)
    Here is an article from CityPages of a man who "Tested the Gun Show Loophole" without a permit to purchase:
    http://www.citypages.com/2010-06-03/news/testing-minnesota-s-gun-show-loophole/
    He didn't succeed.

    As far as registration goes, Canada is a prime example of how it doesn't work. It cost over $100 million to set up, over $10 million a year to run, and has not prevented one single crime, or supplied vital evidence in a crime.

    I think the Brady Campaign itself (VPS) puts it best:
    "Licensing systems are very expensive to administer. Canada's experience with its full licensing and registration system, begun in December 1998, is not encouraging. The government originally estimated that the cost of licensing Canada's three million gun owners and registering their seven million guns would be $185 million [Canadian] over five years including a one-time start-up cost of $85 million [Canadian]. But, by March 2000 the Canadian Firearms Centre admitted that the system had already cost Canadian taxpayers $327 million [Canadian] and was running up an annual bill nearly 10 times higher than the government's original forecast. The March announcement also revealed that although 270,000 valid licenses existed from the country's earlier gun control system, only 142,000 new licenses had been issued. Using these figures as a baseline for America's arsenal of 65 million handguns, the estimated cost of such a system here is staggering.

    Most importantly, licensing and registration in America would have little effect on the vast majority of gun violence, such as unintentional gunshot deaths, suicides and the majority of homicides, since most homicides are the result of arguments between people who know each other and who purchase guns legally."

    Registration is not the answer, punishing those who break the law is.

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  12. Sean, here that is essentially what a permit to purchase, or permit to carry does.

    The permit to purchase is free, SUPPOSED to come within 7 days, (Some Chiefs/Sheriffs illegally stretch that) and once you have it, you can walk in and out with a gun in 20 mins. It's good for a year. No waiting period here.

    I do think that every seller should ask to see this when making a sale. It is just common sense, especially since the seller's gun rights are on the line.

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  13. I agree with most of what Sean has posted, but I think I have a slightly better idea. All adults (18 years of age or older) of sound mind can purchase firearms and ammunition. No background check or registration is needed.

    Those of you who don't want to own a firearm don't have to. Just don't force your ideas on the rest of us.

    Sean is quite correct about the political climate and gun control. At long last the pendulum has started swinging the other way and we are likely to regain some of our civil rights. Too bad for you, japete.

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  14. Rob- agree to many of your points. But I happen to know several people who have tested the system in Minnesota and been able to buy pistols and assault type weapons without showing their permits to purchase and no background check. Some people do slip through the cracks. Who knows who they will be? It would be simple enough to require the background checks on all gun sales at gun shows and then, at least at that venue, prohibited purchasers would not slip through the cracks.

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  15. I agree Joan, mistakes happen, and there are plenty of shady salesmen out there... I get it.

    Much to the chagrin of my pro-gun colleagues, I don't disagree with running background checks at gun shows, for even unlicensed dealers. It's just really not that big of a deal. While they are running the check, I get to look at more stuff.

    I do think that it would be inconvenient, and vastly ineffective. Most guns used in crimes are stolen...(Over the past 10 years, even the FBI has lost over 700 guns, many of which have turned up in crimes.) Then theres straw purchases, and "borrowed" guns, FBI reports less than 1% of guns used in crimes are traced to gun show.

    I am weary of legislation that would enforce this. Rep. Paymar's bills in the past have added quite of bit of odd definitions of what constitutes a gun show, and had language supporting records and registration. That starts to get on a slippery slope.

    That being said, anyone who buys guns is used to the process, and shouldn't be concerned by it.

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  16. mad jack, the net effect of automatically coding your drivers license would be that everyone who wasn't a felon could buy. I want to make sure that the government can't make a list, so I don't think we should have to ask for permission, it should be given automatically. The issue is that certain people would like to put obstacles in our path.

    All free adults should be able to buy and carry. If people just gotta have a check, it should be given to every free citizen (and legal resident) automatically. If they can't stomach that, I'm willing to do it your way, no checks at all for anyone.

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  17. One way to handle the legacy firearm transfer is to allow for a period of time in which the firearm can be registered or legally disposed of (sale through FFL or turn in for destruction) usually 90 days.

    Please remember that the Heller-McDonald decisions allowed for (to quote McDonald):

    McDonald:

    It is important to keep in mind that Heller, while striking down a law that prohibited the possession of handguns in the home, recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” 554 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 54). We made it clear in Heller that our holding did not cast doubt on such longstanding regulatory measures as “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Id., at ___–___ (slip op., at 54–55). We repeat those assurances here. Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not imperil every law regulating firearms. McDonald at 39-40

    Additionally, Heller's holding was wuite clear:

    In sum, we hold that the District’s ban on handgun possession in the home violates the Second Amendment, as does its prohibition against rendering any lawful firearm in the home operable for the purpose of immediate self-defense. Assuming that Heller is not disqualified from the exercise of Second Amendment rights, the District must permit him to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home.

    In this we have background checks, registration, and licensure are held to be constitutionally acceptable under Scalia's Second Amendment jurisprudence.

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  18. Rob- I worked with Rep. Paymar and lobbied for that bill. Is there any language you could give me that bothered you or was a problem?

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  19. Are you in a hurry when you buy your guns, Sean?

    If you are trying for common ground, you should dump this attitude. I am willing to at least consider laws where the impact on criminals is balanced against the impact on the law abiding. Often we are asked to submit to further restrictions, with little evidence that these restrictions will impact crime significantly, with nothing to prevent these restrictions from being abused, and with no effort to minimize the impact on us. When we question, we get sarcastic comments like "what's your hurry".

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  20. Hello to my commenters,

    If you think I'm sarcastic, I don't even know how to describe some of the comments left on my blog. Chill out. You guys are some of the most sarcastic provacative people I have ever "discussed" this topic with. So back off. As one of you pointed out, this is my blog. I will moderate comments. Most people do and most people don't respond to comments. Several of you are "pestering" me, for lack of a better word. I'm not publishing comments that don't contribute to the conversation, are accusatory, rude and nonsensical. If I let every comment in, the sane and reasonable people wouldn't even consider getting involved. As it is, you guys- mostly the same ones- have dominated the comments. I know that's what you intend.

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  21. And, so I should "dump this attitude". Who are you? Give me a break. Do you think you can now tell me how to behave? The arrogance of that comment is beyond my having to respond. Nonetheless, you guys could dump a few of your own attitudes.You were the one who wanted to know why you had to wait for 5 days? I was asking why you needed to be in a hurry to buy a gun. Sometimes the people who are in a hurry are the ones who want to go out and shoot someone. I know a case like that. If you need a gun that badly, you should probably not have it.

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  22. I have my MN permit and the majority of dealers I go to still run a nics prior to sale (I dont have to submit but they dont have to sell). I have no problem with a permit to purchase as it is not tied to any perticular gun sale. I have even had a private sale keep a photo copy so if I sell the gun he has proof he sold it leagaly.I am against regestering each gun sale but am ok with a permit to purchas required if the buyer is not family or even worded as personaly known.
    I personaly have copys of premit/DL along with the s# of any firearm I have sold

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  23. as to the in a hurry issue I have found a good deal while traveling in MN and would not care to drive home and come back 7 days later, but I carry my permit with me so I can avoid that. It takes about 10 min a year to keep my permit up to date but I have a good Police Chief to deal with some make it hard to get through the paperwork I believe that is an issue for the city councle and if need be a lawyer

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  24. I do find it funny that showing a drivers license to vote is too much of a burden but you can make people jump through a bunch of hoops for a civil right not to mention tax it :(

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  25. "Sometimes the people who are in a hurry are the ones who want to go out and shoot someone."

    Since I already own a pistol and have three different state licenses to carry it, you can scratch me off your list of "people who need a gun bad to do some killin'" I find your insinuation that my disdain for a waiting periods or is tatamount to blood lust. Remember, "A right delayed is a right denied." MLK. http://tinyurl.com/29jbfst

    Do you really want to know why we fight so hard against people like you? You are engaged in the suppression of our fundamental rights. Why should we treat you any differently that any other person who seeks to deny (and at least delay) the fundamental rights of other humans? If anything, we have treated you with a tremendous courtesy considering what you are attempting. The fact that you don't believe that Keeping and Bearing Arms is a fundamental right doesn't change a thing.

    "As it is, you guys- mostly the same ones- have dominated the comments. I know that's what you intend."

    Well, i guess you could ask all the other "anti-gun violence" types to help you out. (if you can find any) Or, conversely, you, MikeB and Laci could close your comments and link to each other and slowly slide back into obscurity.

    Remember, we are doing this on our own time. No one pays me to engage you. No one pays the rest of the gun bloggers and their readers to engage you. we do this out of love. Not of love for you, exactly, but love of our rights and of each other.

    We do love you. As a Christian you are certainly aware of our mutual responsibility to love each other as neighbors. Think of our words as your loving neighbors gently remonstrating with you to correct the error of your ways. We are reminding you that you cannot love us while simultaneously tarring us (and specifically me in the last instance) as proto-murderers.

    You chose to be public. You chose to engage us by trying to limit our rights. We will never permit anyone to tell you that you cannot speak, but don't pretend that our words can hurt you. They are merely words on a screen. If the truth behind the words pains you it can only be because the words tell you that you are wrong. Remember that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. If anyone makes threats, you may turn them in to your local police force with my goodwill.

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  26. "Is there any language you could give me that bothered you or was a problem?"

    Well, there was H.F. No. 953 that set off a number of alarms... raised the costs of the Permit to Purchase, removed a Permit to Carry as a purchasing permit, attempted to keep track of buyers and sellers, and called a classified "two or more persons are offering or exhibiting one or more firearms for transfer." a gun show (or at least enforceable by the proposed law)

    His second run at it, H.F. 2960 was better, and more toned down... The definition of a gun show was widened, but not enough in my opinion, and the fact they had to go through the show's designated FFL. I like to have the option of who I give my sensitive data to.
    It was a much better attempt, and closer to the mark, but given Paymar's previously displayed motives, I think the bill may have garnered more support with a different author.
    Many gun owners, myself included, looked at it as a "proverbial camel's nose under the tent situation"

    Minnesota statutes already contain four provisions to cut off “black market” transfers.
    (1) 609.52 – Theft by the criminal himself,
    (2) 609; 609.53 – Theft-once-removed by acquisition from a “fence;”
    (3) 609.66 sibd. 1c – Receipt from an accomplice/strawman; and
    (4) 624.7141 – Transfer to an ineligible person.

    With the limited number of guns actually coming from guns shows, I think enforcing the above laws is going to be much more effective, and yield far better results.

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  27. Thanks for your cogent comments, Sean. " Remember that sticks and stones may break your bones, but words can never hurt you. If anyone makes threats, you may turn them in to your local police force with my goodwill. " I would certainly do that. Your comments don't hurt me. I just choose to ignore the really rude and accusatory ones. I have thicker skin than that. No one is suppressing your rights, by the way, That is a falacy. Tell me how exactly that is happening.

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  28. The last time I checked, voting didn't kill anybody. There is a difference. And, by the way- to Sean again, no one is paying me either. This is done because of my passion for the issue- pure and simple- and to affect change if I can.

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  29. "Last time I checked, voting didn't kill anyone."

    Please tell that to the more than 600,000 that died in the Civil War. Which was precipitated by a vote that elected Abe Lincoln and prompted the South to vote to succeed.

    If you want a nearer example, how about the Use of Force agreement that authorized President Bush to invade Iraq. Try not to pretend that voting is less deadly than guns.

    An armed man can only kill a few people. The army of a modern democracy can kill every living thing in a country. All it takes is a vote.

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  30. Well, that's a pretty literal interpretation of my words. I, of course, meant the act of voting itself.

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  31. I thought 2960 was a pretty good bill, actually.

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  32. So would you be for a system that you had to wait 5 business days to get a card authorizing your right to vote. Then at the poling place have to submit to a NCIC background check? I mean who knows you might be a felon or trying to vote multiple places.

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  33. Not relevant. Time to move on.

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  34. You cannot register to vote and vote on the same day. There is a waiting period, even though it isn't called that.

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  35. You are wrong about that. In Minnesota, you can register at the polls on voting day.In fact, " ten states have some form of Election Day voter registration: Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Wyoming and Washington DC. Montana began Election Day voter registration in 2006, North Carolina in 2007, and Iowa in 2008. Connecticut also has Election Day registration, but only for presidential elections. (North Dakota, unique among the states, has no voter registration requirement at all.)"

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  36. In this we have background checks, registration, and licensure are held to be constitutionally acceptable under Scalia's Second Amendment jurisprudence.

    Heller and McDonald made NO DETERMINATION as to the constitutionality of registration, background checks, licensing etc.

    The holdings were narrow and the constitutionality of such laws was not addressed because they were not at issue in either case.

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  37. Review USDOJ Background Check & Firearm Transfer annual report 2008.
    http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/content/pub/html/bcft/2008/bcft08st.pdf

    Then Review USDOJ survey in 1997 Firearm Use by Offenders, Bureau of Justice Statistics, November 2001 http://bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=940.

    We see from the USDOJ Background Check & Firearm transfer report that of the 99 million checks for purchases from licensed sources only, since 1994. We see a total of 1.67 million valid rejections, a 68% decrease in felons attempting to buy from a licensed source, and 58% of those rejected being felons. We see that between 2000-2008 only 13,024 were prosecuted, or less than 1%.

    We of course see how the anti gun lobby claims such effectiveness of this pathetically useless law with the hard data they can present that the 1.66 million plus who weren’t prosecuted then didn’t go and buy from an unlicensed source? We also see how the felons identified purchasing their weapons from 80% street buys, 12% retail stores, 2% gun shows, a total of 14% from retail licensed sources.

    So 14% of felons acquired their firearms from a licensed source in 1997, but that has reduced by 68% of felons attempting buys from licensed sources puts the street buys at 95.52% in today’s numbers (14% x .32 remainder = 4.48%).

    Then lest we forget that less than 1% of those prevented from buying from a licensed source were prosecuted (max .048% or approximately 1,500 felons a year (13,024 / 9 = 1,445)).

    So without any change to our legal system, really would love to hear how another law would be better prosecuted!

    David

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  38. My eyes just glazed over with all of your convoluted statistics. What's your point again? That it's not worth even doing background checks because the number is so small? The percentage of denials is small compared to the number of people who are not denied. So what? If more than 1.7 million people have been denied since the system began, even if some got their rights back, there was a reason for denial and it stopped a good number of folks who shouldn't have guns from buying them from licensed dealers. That's a great thing and it should be extended to all sales at gun sales to bring that number up. That's what it's all about- stopping the "bad guys" from legally buying guns.

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  39. Sean, You keep talking about the driver's license, but what about those who don't have one and don't want one?

    Sorry if this has been asked and answered.

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  40. "What about drivers licenses..."

    A fair question. In the US one MUST present ID to purchase a firearm. You don't need to show a DL, any state issued ID will work. The states offer a non Drivers License ID if you can't or won't drive. They should be included.

    If you are asking why a person shoulod have to have a state issued ID in order to exercise a fundamental right, I don't know. The GCA of 1968 forced that on us. I'm fine with dropping the requirement entirely, but without ID, background checks get difficult. I had no idea you were a wild eyed libertarian

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