Background checks for gun purchases has many hurdles

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

— Second Amendment

A petition is being circulated in Nevada that would make criminals out of law-abiding citizens and do almost nothing to curb the crimes it seeks to prevent.

Earlier this month a group called Nevadans for Background Checks filed a petition with  the secretary of state’s office seeking to require background checks for nearly all gun purchases in the state. If the group collects 100,000 signatures by Nov. 11, the 2015 Legislature would have to approve or reject it. If rejected, it would go on the ballot in 2016.

The 2013 Legislature passed a stricter background check law, but Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed it.

The petition seeks to require background checks on all purchases expect for law enforcement and antique firearms.

Though the Second Amendment declares that the “right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” such a law would burden “the people” with expensive and time-consuming paperwork and cost the taxpayers by heaping more work onto the desks of overworked law enforcement agencies.

As for stopping anyone who wishes to commit a crime with a gun, such a law offers no serious deterrence whatsoever.

Current background checks have not stopped any of the most notorious shootings in recent years.

The one shooting that should have been prevented by background checks simply slipped through the cracks, because the paperwork was not properly filed.

Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people on the Virginia Tech campus in 2007, was able to buy a gun despite the fact a judge had deemed him mentality ill.

Could that happen in Nevada? A study reported a couple of weeks ago found more than 800,000 criminal cases were not forwarded to law agencies for entry into the state criminal information repository over the past two decades. That would certainly thwart a background check. Can’t flag what is not in the computer.

But Adam Lanza, the young man who killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., got his guns from his mother, who legally purchased and registered the weapons. She was his first victim.

In 2012, James Holmes legally purchased a rifle, pistols and shotgun before shooting up a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., killing 12.

In 2011, Jared Loughner legally purchased the weapons he used to wound then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, killing five.

Nor would background checks have prevented the recent Las Vegas shootings in which a couple — Jerad and Amanda Miller — set out to kill cops. Jerad had a criminal record and was barred from legally purchasing firearms, but Amanda legally purchased their guns in Indiana. They killed two police officers in an ambush and killed a concealed weapon permit holder who tried to stop them.

A poll conducted in January by Public Policy Polling for the liberal groups ProgressNow Nevada and the Center for American Progress Action Fund found 78 percent of Nevadans support requiring criminal background checks of everyone buying firearms.

This shows the public needs to be educated about this topic. Adding such a law to Nevada’s statutes will burden law enforcement, inconvenience citizens who wish to engage in a constitutionally protected activity and do next to nothing to curb gun crime. — TM

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  1. diane raucher says:

    As a registered nurse I have seen the results of what easily availible guns do. I’m tired of children dying because irresponsible adults leaveing too many guns in the homes of these families. I had a friend, who lost her 13yr daughter, because a friend of the child found a gun in his home and was showing it to her. He accidentally killed her. Now two children are lost.

  2. Glen Saunders says:

    We have a National Background check that has been in place since 1998. Why is everyone harping on more background checks? You cannot purchase a firearm in the United States of America without a background check unless you buy it from a private individual.

    How many criminals do you think use the background check already in place? Maybe they’ll use the new and improved version?

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