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Op-ed: Gun law proposals unnecessary, don’t make sense

In an article by Todd Ruger posted 3/21/21 at 12:23 p.m., Senator Schumer said, “No more hopes and prayers, thoughts & prayers. A vote is what we need.”

Senator Schumer went on to say HR 1446 would require background checks between private individuals and licensed gun dealers at gun shows closing the so called “gun show loopholes.” This is a false statement as the present law requires a F.F.L. dealer to do a background check any time they sell a firearm regardless of where they are.

Senator Schumer went on to say “that in 1994 when the Brady Bill was passed we didn’t have the internet. It saved hundreds of thousands if not millions of lives.” Again both of his statements are incorrect. The first thing sold on the internet according to Shopify was on Arpanetin 1972. It was a deal to sell marijuana between Stanford University and MIT students.

If a F.F.L. dealer sells a firearm on the internet it isn’t shipped to the purchaser. It is shipped to a F.F.L. dealer that will do the background check before the transfer can take place. Philip J. Cook is regarded as the nation’s foremost authority on gun control. He stated the Brady Bill “had no disconcerting effect on reducing gun deaths.” He went on to say, that “there is some evidence the gun suicide rate for people over 55 was reduced. But overall the suicide rate didn’t decline; suggesting that some people simply changed their method when they couldn’t get a gun more easily.”

HR1446 moves the delay period from 3 business days to 10 business days. If the background check isn’t completed in the 10 days the prospective buyer may submit and petition for final firearm eligibility determination. If an additional 10 days elapsed without a final determination then the F.F.L. dealer may transfer the firearm to the prospective buyer. HR 8 would require an NICS background check any time a firearm was transferred.

I don’t know of any F.F.L dealers that would object to this check. The only exception I would suggest would be if a person was giving or loaning a firearm to an immediate family member. Any time a person transfers a firearm to an ineligible person both parties have committed a felony. The F.B.I. is supposed to be the best law enforcement agency in the world. It is beyond me that it would take 10 days to do an NICS background check as required in HR 1446, a compromise would be move delay period from 3 to 5 days.

If NICS hasn’t got back with the F.F.L. dealer after the 5th business day the transfer could take place. The real problem is the information entered in NICS isn’t correct or current. Therefore, it will not make any difference in how long they have to do a background check. Case in point is the Charleston, S.C., church shooting, the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting and the purchase of a hand gun by Hunter Biden. The shooter in Charleston had a drug charge on his record, the Texas shooter was convicted of domestic battery while in the Air Force and Hunter Biden was discharged from the military for testing positive for cocaine.

These three individuals lied on their 4473 form, which is supposed to be a felony and should have been denied the purchase of a firearm. The information concerning these three men wasn’t entered into the NCIC system. A Florida International University report says the military mishandled roughly 1,300 domestic violence case between 2004 and 2012, including misclassifications that allowed abusers to go unreported in the NCIC.

Hunter Biden lied on his original 4473 form and again when the missing 38 caliber pistol was returned to him. So the question here is why ATF hasn’t or some other law enforcement agency not arrested him for committing two felonies. It is a sure bet if that were you or me we would be in jail. If Senator Schumer and President Biden were really interested in gun safety why do they make statements that are not correct? President Biden stated a person could purchase the parts and build a firearm “ghost gun” without having to go through a background check. This isn’t true. Any time you purchase a lower receiver you have to go through a background check.

Their remarks just scare the anti-gun people and confirms to the pro gun people all they want is to take their guns. The 10-day delay period with a possible additional 10-day period in HR 1446 just looks like a way to keep law abiding people from purchasing a fire arm.

Common sense on both sides would go a long way here. The current laws concerning fire arms need to be enforced. If a person commits a crime using a firearm they need to be punished to the fullest extent of the law, not let them off or get paroled early. Any time there is a tragedy that involves a firearm the anti-gun people are right there to exploit it. They were saying in the case of the Georgia shooter it was a hate crime and the shooter was a white supremacist shortly after he was arrested.

The shooter wasn’t white and the FBI said it didn’t appear to be a hate crime. So why do politicians and the media make these claims before the investigation is completed and the motive determined? Why was the first amendment to our Constitution freedom of speech, religion and assembly? That is what the King of England was trying to deprive us of. Where did most of the people that fought against the British in the Revolution War get their weapons? They were their personal weapons. Why is the right to keep and bear arms the second amendment?

The colonists had just fought a war against the English Government because of its abusive behavior and over reach and they wanted to make sure the American people could defend themselves from this new government if necessary.

President Biden said no amendment was absolute. Just maybe he needs to review his study of the Constitution and see how an amendment is changed. It isn’t by executive order.

I encourage all senators to vote against HR 1446 and HR 8 in their present form when they get to the senate. Let us use some common sense and get gun safety, not gun confiscation by making it harder for law abiding citizens to purchase a firearm. If we were to enforce our current gun laws and made sure that all relevant data was entered in data bases and could be accessed by NICS then people that should be denied a firearm wouldn’t legally be able to purchase one. Just a thought, maybe the current gun law that President Biden and Senator Schumer helped passed should be read to them and the rest of the senate.

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Larry Barton is a former social studies and history teacher who was principal of Williamstown High School from 2000-2005. He lives in Glenville, and works occasionally at a local gun shop.

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