By Rachel Malone
Currently, any private seller can get a background check on any private transaction. The law already prohibits sales to people who are banned from owning guns. Gun Owners of America opposes any legislative policy move to add additional requirements, incentives or processes to increase background checks on private sales.
1) Background checks accidentally keep good guys from buying guns.
Most background check denials are mistakes. (See bit.ly/334ZXIk.) The National Instant Criminal Background Check system is already a mess; nearly 95% of denials are false positives. So, expanded checks are more likely to keep guns away from the law-abiding than from criminals.
2) Background checks hurt minorities.
Minorities are wrongly denied disproportionately to others. People are often denied because their names sound or look similar to names of the actual criminals who are banned from guns.
“These mistakes affect certain racial groups more than others. Hispanics are more likely to share names with other Hispanics; the same is true of blacks. Because 30 percent of black males have criminal records that prevent them from buying guns, law-abiding African-American men more often have their names confused with those of prohibited people.” (John Lott, bit.ly/2MdqvjF
3) Background checks hurt veterans.
Over 250,000 veterans who need help handling their finances were added to NICS even though their disabilities likely shouldn’t preclude gun ownership.
4) Background checks create a gun registry.
Requiring background checks for private sales cannot effectively be accomplished without creating a gun registry. Gun owners will stand strong against any move toward a gun registry.
5) Background checks don’t stop criminals.
Addressing mass murders by expanding background checks wrongly suggests gun ownership is the problem when evil hearts are the problem. Criminals will still find ways to get guns: straw purchases, other illegal purchases, stealing, even stealing from police — or they’ll use other weapons for their crimes.
“In my book, The War on Guns, I find states with these background checks experienced an increase of 15 percent in per capita rates of mass public shooting fatalities. They also saw a 38 percent increase in the injury rate. Nor is there evidence that expanded background checks reduce rates of any type of violent crime, including mass public shootings, suicide, the murder of police officers and domestic violence against women.” (John Lott, bit.ly/2MdqvjF)
Rachel Malone is Texas Director for Gun Owners of America.