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Background checks for all an unreasonable burden

Published: March 3, 2013

At first glance, the latest effort at gun control seems reasonable: Close the so-called “gun show loophole” by requiring background checks on all gun transactions. As is always the case, however, the devil is in the details. This would require everyone, everywhere, to perform a background check on the person to whom they're selling, giving, leaving or transferring in any way, a firearm. Sell a shotgun to the friend you've known all your life? Background check. Give a .22 rifle to your son? Background check. Leave your collection of firearms to your heirs? Background check.

Aside from the unreasonable burden this would place on any gun owner, there are aspects that run counter to the spirit of what the law's proponents intend. It would vastly increase the already widespread black market in firearms, since there would likely be similarly widespread disregard of the law. It would overwhelm the already nearly overwhelmed NCIC background system, leading to days, weeks or months of waiting, which would likely result in even more illegal gun sales. It would make criminals out of thousands of ordinarily law-abiding citizens. Perhaps that is the point.

John F. Mullins, Mountain Park


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