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Senate Gun Deal Would Expand Background Checks

April 10, 2013  | 

Fiream dealers use the Form 4473 for over the counter gun purchases. Photo via ATF.
Fiream dealers use the Form 4473 for over the counter gun purchases. Photo via ATF.

U.S. Senators reached an agreement that would expand background checks for firearm purchases to limit access to weapons for criminals and the mentally ill.

Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Patrick Toomey (R-Pa.) spearheaded the deal, reports the New York Times. The deal that will receive a Senate vote on Thursday would expand background checks to gun shows and online purchases. The announcement came as victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting headed to Washington, D.C. to voice support for gun-violence measures.

The National Rifle Association released a statement denouncing the proposed amendment.

"The sad truth is that no background check would have prevented the tragedies in Newtown, Aurora or Tucson," according to the statement. "We need a serious and meaningful solution that addresses crime in cities like Chicago, addresses mental health deficiencies, while at the same time protecting the rights of those of us who are not a danger to anyone."

The New York Police Department has said that 90% of the guns recovered in crimes in the city originate out of state from Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. On Wednesday, Commissioner Paul Browne told POLICE Magazine the department supports the measure, but added that it wouldn't address criminal straw purchasers who buy guns in those states.

"The straw purchaser from New York has a criminal record," Browne said. "He's producing the cash for the guns. The only thing he's not doing is filling out the paperwork."

However, Browne said the proposed legislation could prevent gang members or the mentally ill from purchasing pistols or rifles at gun shows if the background checks flag illegal buyers.

"Does that mean it's going to stop everyone from acquiring a gun illegally? Probably not. It would be a check and an opportunity to stop that person from acquiring a gun," Browne added.

Others say expanded background checks will only further push illegal buyers underground.

"Universal background checks won't drastically reduce crime in New York or elsewhere," said Adam Winkler, author and UCLA law professor. "For the hardened criminal, background checks will just push them further into the black market.

By Paul Clinton

Comments (18)

Displaying 1 - 18 of 18

DEADMAN @ 4/10/2013 5:46 PM

This is just additional crap heaped on legal gun owners by obama administration,this still does cover school security,mentally ill and the criminal element,more politics by administration.

Jim A @ 4/10/2013 5:57 PM

So with the stabbings in Houston, will the democrats now want to do background checks on all purchasers of steak knives, limit the number you can buy, and limit the length of the blade to 3/4 inch?

Liberalism is killing us. They write it off as crime control. It will have no effect on crime. It will CREATE crime because the black market will go deeper to get their tools. Burglaries and thefts will increase. It's common sense, folks. But their real goal is to control your guns and your ability to defend yourself. Why is that? Hold on to your hat. This has just begun.

Billy @ 4/10/2013 6:04 PM

More useless "Feel-Good" legislation designed by politicians to prove to gullible voters that they are "doing something." I'd be interested in knowing what percentage of criminals buy their firearms at gun shows? If they are a convicted felon, isn't buying a gun anywhere for them against the law? Just more BS "smoke and mirrors" that will do nothing to reduce crime, but only trample the rights of honest citizens.

David ?? @ 4/9/2013 6:26 PM

Well said Billy !!!
Remember, when seconds count, police are only minutes away 👮😘

me @ 4/9/2013 6:46 PM

Hate to put it so bluntly, but these guys are either ignorant pussies or opportunistic fascists. There is no middle ground anymore. Any adult who thinks criminals and/or nutcases give a danger about any law they pass is a self-deluted fool. I don't know how it is in your state, nut any FFL dealer in Indiana is required to do a NICS check before every transfer, gun show or not. Private party sales are up to the seller - it might interest you to know it has been common practice around here for sellers to go through a dealer for the chafing and paperwork for several years. That's something we have done ourselves - suck on that Obama. Family heirlooms and trades Really? Universal background checks will REQUIRE universal registration and that always leads to confiscating - always.

It's always been up to the individual(s) there to be responsible and safe. The NRA has beat that drum forever. But these "never let a tradgety go to waste" eliteists want to boost their career and agendas by forcing edicts down our throats on subjects they obviously know NOTHING about.

me @ 4/9/2013 6:57 PM

Wow. The auto correct on my "smart" phone ran away with that.
danger = dang
nut = but
chafing = check
confiscating = confiscation

me @ 4/9/2013 7:00 PM

And at no time in history could you buy a gun online legally without it going through an FFL anyway. Duh.

gary @ 4/10/2013 7:20 PM

i feel its bad to havebackroundcheckson people who want to own
a gun if people cant own a gun you know criminals will find ways to get guns its bad to have guncontrolit wont stop the criminals i feel
it in my bones gary

SteveClar @ 4/10/2013 8:50 PM

So called "background checks" are only as reliable as the information in the NICS database, which at best only has major offender data and not much more. Most states don't regularly update it with recent offender and mental defective (e.g., CA 5150) info. Would you trust running a vehicle's '28s and '29s on such a crap system while performing a T-stop?

Joe @ 4/10/2013 9:18 PM

Hate to bust anyones bubble, but mental illness does not come up on a background check. It is private medical records, so this is just something to mess with people who try to do stuff the right way.

stan @ 4/10/2013 9:45 PM

That was my does mental health issues end up in NICS? The ACLU was able to protect the mentally ill. Heck, try changing doctors in Pa, where medical records can't even go from a MD to a specialist without paperwork signing and only "pertinent" info being sent. Then there was the VA attempt to take vets' firearms. No one is talking about that anymore.

Sgt. T. Goodman @ 4/11/2013 3:31 AM

Go back and check the history of how the British Govt. took the guns away from the people. It's the blueprint the the Idiot Obama... I mean President Obama is using to take our protection from us. There are five handguns in my house, two of them stay in my wife and 17 year old daughter's romms. My son is 13 and will be getting his in a year or so. You can teach safety, but you can't legislate it. How bout we seal up the holes in the mental institutions first. Make the lazy ass state employees do their jobs, that might make a dent

Morning Eagle @ 4/11/2013 5:02 AM

Stupid and treasonous violation of the oath every one of them took. Every time the republicans "compromise" with the democrats on something like this, the people lose another piece of the rights and liberty we have left. What is so difficult to understand about "... shall not be infringed." Require background checks for on-line purchases? We already have that because an on-line purchase MUST be delivered through a licensed dealer and a check will be done before the buyer can take possession. Just another useless, smoke and mirrors feel-good restriction. Criminals don't get their guns by going through a legitimate dealer. This whole people control package is a blatant expansion of government power affecting the law abiding that will not prevent anyone intending to use firearms illegally from doing so. They claim polls show most people favor stricter controls. Who do they ask? I have seen polls showing the exact opposite by overwhelming margins. Politicians and a media that could not care less about the safety of individuals or reducing crime are easily bamboozling people that do not understand anything about guns and have been taught to fear them. This is part and parcel of a very dangerous power grab. They live in a self-created bubble inside the beltway that isolates them so far from the people I have to wonder how many of them realize how volatile this issue is. We are being pushed too far and something is bound to break. There are tens of millions that will not bow down and lick their boots.

Jim (40 years) @ 4/11/2013 8:19 AM

Remember just 1 thing: Gun Control = People Control.

Mike @ 4/10/2013 9:07 AM

You cannot stop the mentally ill from purschasing a firearm unless medical records are released. Apparently the senators have never heard of HIPPA. Knee jerk reactions are always the norm with politicans. We will now see the senators patting themselves on their backs while saying "at least we did something."

SteveClar @ 4/11/2013 2:22 PM

Joe and Stan: FYI: In 2011 alone (latest year for stats) NICS alone denied 7,879 firearm transfers due to the person being a mental defective. So that info does get in the DOJ's database.

David B @ 5/6/2013 5:34 PM

Edmund Burke observed, all that it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to say and do nothing, Do something.

David B @ 5/6/2013 5:36 PM

Edmund Burke observed, all that it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to say and do nothing, Do something Be involved.

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