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By Larry Keane

Here’s something we all can agree on: When criminals attempt to illegally obtain firearms we must enforce the law by arresting and prosecuting them.

Five years before the murderous rampage in Odessa, Texas, the criminal attempted to illegally purchase a firearm from a federally licensed firearms retailer (FFL). He was denied, as he was already prohibited under existing federal law from buying or possessing a firearm because a court had determined he was dangerously mentally ill.

In the aftermath of this tragedy, we see the same, tired, knee-jerk reactions to ban certain types of popular firearms in response to the criminal acts of a madman. As we continue to point out – these policies fail to reach the goal we all have of safer communities.

NICS Worked

The question that remains is why the criminal was not arrested and prosecuted when he attempted to illegally purchase a firearm. The FBI National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system worked in this case, but after the appropriate denial was made, what happened next?

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry, has long called for enforcing our laws. Those who try to buy firearms, knowing they are a prohibited person, are breaking the law. And yet, they are rarely prosecuted for illegally lying on a federal form and claiming they are not prohibited.

No One Acted

In general, firearms-related crimes are being prosecuted far more often under President Trump’s administration than they were under President Obama’s. A quick look at the number of criminal cases in which a firearms offense was charged shows an increase of 36 percent in the number of cases filed in FY 2018 compared to FY 2016. In case that’s not dramatic enough, this represents roughly another 4,000 individuals prosecuted for breaking gun laws.

Handcuffs hand cuffs NICS enforce the law

This increase is significant and laudable. But there’s more that can be done. That’s where recent proposals come in that would require NICS in the case of a denial to immediately notify ATF and local law enforcement entities.

There’s a gap in the system that needs to be closed to prevent another prohibited person from escaping prosecution for attempting to buy a gun with tragic results. The NSSF is urging Congress and the administration to enact legislation that would mandate immediate notification to ATF and local law enforcement whenever there is a NICS denial so that these criminals who are attempting to illegally obtain firearms can be arrested and prosecuted.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. Or just allow everyone Constitutional Carry, everywhere across the nation. Been sayin’ it over and over. Crime would plummet.

    • The State of New York reported 376.2 violent crimes and 1,545.6 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants for 2016

      The State of Arizona reported 470.1 violent crimes and 2,978.4 property crimes per 100,000 inhabitants for 2016

      So much for that idea

      (FYI despite what tag spouts, Illinois gun laws are far more centrist that most people here realize and are closer to TX than NY or CA)

        • Sure does skew the numbers. Aliens verses native population is staggering. 60% of New York prison population is not aliens – 60% of Arizona’s is – so much for that

      • They just ran a huge proportion of the gun dealers out of business in IL. I don’t even think Cali has the dealer licensing scheme we do here tbh.

        • I would blame the Feds for that more than anything else. Takes an act of god for the AFT to shut down ‘smart’ gun runners. The ATF stopped publishing the stats for gun running and straw purchases decades ago because it made everyone look bad. Don’t believe me, look up Charles Brown, MKS president. OFr better yet, search for when the ATF use to conduct studies on straw purchases and sketchy FFLs, (hit look about 20-30 years ago)

    • Somalia goes one better. They skip the constitution and the government altogether and leapfrogs to Everyone Carry. How’s that working out for them?

      Now, I get it that Somalia is not America. There are important historical, cultural and legal differences. That’s part of my point: these things are more complex than simply tooling up everyone. Those complexities need to be acknowledged in the course of drafting serious and useful solutions.

      Here’s a complexity: some people cannot be trusted with a firearm, as they’ve already demonstrated that they are criminally violent. “Then they shouldn’t be allowed to roam the streets in the first place!” Perhaps, but not necessarily. That’s another complexity.

      People’s behavior results from what’s called biopsychosocial interactions. It’s not psycho babble; it just means that biological, psychological and social factors contribute to the behavior dynamic. These factors affect different people, well, differently. Bottom line here is that some criminals do indeed need to be locked up because no matter what, they’ll offend again and violently. Others, maybe not. If they can be separated from certain environments, or medicated, or have temptations removed from them, then they can function satisfactorily.

      Plenty of recovering alcoholics never drink again….so long as there’s no booze in their house, for example. Leave them alone with keys to the liqour cabinet and there could be trouble. Likewise, there are those with criminally violent histories who could control themselves if they’re removed from living “the Life” and firearms are removed from their possession or premises.

      • If you (meaning the convicted criminal) are so weak that you cannot remove yourself from those temptations and need someone else to do so for you, then you are not ready to be a part of society and need to remain locked up. If you are not yet a criminal but are still so weak that you cannot remove yourself from the temptations that are resulting in you commiting criminal acts, keep going and the government will help remove you from them.

      • Somalia is quite the red herring. When there was UN aid and food aid pouring into the country warlords seized control of the aid imports and used it to establish power and then to seek more power. When there was no UN aid and no food aid after foreign militaries pulled out the nation dissolved into anarchy.

        By dissolved into anarchy I mean that the warlords fell from power, their organizations collapsed, traditional law reasserted itself and people got back to a mostly peaceful traditional pastoral existence following traditional laws that most America Christian Conservatives would find quite appealing. The Somali dollar even appreciated well in value, given the absence of a government to inflate it. They were doing quite well.

        Of course governments couldn’t have an example of a successful society with no government so a multi national organization of African states (I forget the name or details) decided to impose a government on the Somalis and things were going down hill again last I heard.

        There were several articles about it years ago on,, and

  2. When Trump announced upon taking office that he was directing Federal Agencies to remove at least two regulations for every new one they wanted to enact, they ended up removing (according to a news report I heard over the radio) about 20 old regs for each new one.

    Imagine if States and the Fed nullified two gun laws for each new one they wanted to implement.

  3. This article touts NICS as having “worked’. As others here have previously mentioned, any background check scheme pushes the “presumed guilty until we say you’re innocent” premise on its head.

    No background checks, constitutional carry for everyone (as Haz says above). If someone commits a crime, THEN prosecute. No presumption of guilt (UBC) as default policy.

    Do you hear this, Republicans? Trump?

    • I disagree. People are on the NICS watchlist because they’ve already been adjudicated in a court of law as being dangerous. Due process has already happened for them. Case in point, the Sutherland shooter was dishonorably discharged from the Air Force and thus a prohibited person. Had the Air Force done its job and forwarded that info to NICS, it would have at least impeded (though probably not stopped) him from getting a gun.

      • This is staring to sound like the socialis argument. We need to try again and get it right! Lol its never going to work.

        • exactly Biatec. It will never work in large part because humans make mistakes and computers loose data. Everyone should be able to carry in whatever way they choose without restriction. If they are regarded as too dangerous to be trusted with a gun they should not be on the streets be it jail for their crimes or a mental hospital for their psychiatric care. There is Liberty and there is slavery…. There is no in-between other than degrees of slavery.

      • There are plenty of people prohibited in the NICS system and in analogous state systems like PICS in Pennsylvania that should not be prohibited and have no idea that they are.

      • So Firearm Ownership, and more importantly, the Natural Right to Self Defense, in your opinion, is limited to the law abiding only. Remember, there are plenty of non-violent felonies that would prohibit one from owning a firearm.

        Either the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, for defense of one’s self (and State/Country/…) is a First Class Right, on equal footing to the Right to Speech, the Right to Assemble, the Right to Religious Freedom, and the Right to Vote, or it’s not. I believe that it is a First Class Right.

        If someone is “too dangerous to possess a firearm”, why are they a member of society in the first place, and not in prison or a mental health institute or similar?

        Freedom, in general, is a dangerous concept, and requires assumption of responsibility for one’s actions. In our current litigious environment, it’s less about individual responsibility, and more about who is to blame and who will pay for it.

        • Exactly. Exactly.

          BTW, my go-to trunk gun is a .300 BLK. The one caliber to rule them all. 🙂

          (cue the BLK haters…)

        • “If someone is “too dangerous to possess a firearm”, why are they a member of society in the first place, and not in prison or a mental health institute or similar?” – I agree completely. My point was that background checks are not a violation of due process because due process has to happen first to end up in the system.

          • Background checks are violation because they require me to prove that I have not been labeled a prohibited person. If someone thinks I should not have a gun they should be required to prove that I am a danger to myself or others at their own expense. not compel me to prove that I am not, at my expense.

      • If I remember correctly, the Sutherland mass murderer got a bad conduct discharge from the air force. That’s not enough to make him a prohibited person. Even though his domestic crimes merited a multi-year prison sentence, the air force pushed him out into society so that he would no longer be their problem. That strategy worked. He was a problem for members of the church he shot up but not for the air force. The community college Jared Loughner attended and the university James Holmes attended did the same and it worked for them, too.

        • “…the air force pushed him out into society so that he would no longer be their problem.”
          Not true. He was not their problem. He was discharged because he was not fully fit to serve. It’s not the military’s job to fix societies broken puppies. There was a thing or two that the Air Force should have done but didn’t, but keeping him in uniform was not one of them.

      • Huscarl, I think you are missing the point. I have *NOT* been adjudicated a criminal or prohibited person during my 73 years on this planet. Therefore my right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed, not in the least. My AR-15s and -10s should be select fire and I should need no background checks, nor payment of any “taxes” to buy them, and the government should have no clue how many I might have. THAT is Shall Not Be Infringed. How you prevent proven criminals from reoffending, I don’t really care, it’s ok with me if you shoot them. But inflicting the results of their crimes on me is not acceptable, particularly since we all know the goal of the gun grabbers is not “safety”, it is complete control of the citizenry of the US, for which those citizens must be disarmed, while the police state has machine guns, tanks, and fighter aircraft.

  4. No. Just no already. Our side is going to lose because younthink there is a solution. You know it wont fix anything stop giving into tyranny. Its every freaken day some guy who says they are pro gun but then expects to help with pointless expansions.

    Do you throw people in prison who dont know they are prohibited? I mean this is really really stupid. You are reaching and grabbing nothing. Im probably being an a hole but im sick of this nonsense.

    The only answer is repeal or you are anti gun. We would get nothing from this but put pointless pressure on dealers.

    • I have never been in the system, but it has been my understanding that it is not possible to be a prohibited person without having that explained to you in the strongest possible terms. I suspect that occurs in the release process from a criminal conviction or involuntary commitment. The 4473 (if anybody reads it!) explains clearly what all bad shit can be done to you if you lie. I don’t believe anyone will succeed with a defense of “I didn’t know I was prohibited”, but if someone ever does I’ll go back to saying to tattoo “PROHIBITED” on their forehead, they did something to deserve that. I did not, leave me alone.

  5. If existing gun laws are being more strictly enforced by this President’s administration, why isn’t Trump bragging about it, saying “You want something done, an I am doing it”. Put the left on the defensive.

    Then, again, I am with Haz on Constitutional carry for all.

    • Food for thought; a law mandating that each citizen must carry at least one loaded gun would not interfere with your right to keep and bear arms. A step beyond constitutional carry!

  6. At the risk of repeating myself for the thousandth time ENFORCING EXISTING LAWS DOES NOT MEAN WHAT YOU THINK IT MEANS!!!!

    In Pennsylvania in 2014 the PA state police took us up on this. What we discovered is that the vast majority of people denied on a background check (and subsequently hit not 1 but 2 felony charges) are not potential mass murderers or career criminals. They are ordinary good citizens who had some minor run in with law enforcement or the mental health system at some point and don’t even realize they technically prohibited persons.

    If you had a DUI 20 years ago a lawyer who specializes in this stuff will have to get your official records and consult 5 DIFFERENT LAW BOOKS to figure out if you’re are prohibited. If you said “I hate you mommy” or told your parents you want to die as a teenager and got rushed to the hospital and kept for overnight observation, subsequently got your shit together and became a born again good citizen, you can be a prohibited person. If you got caught as a teen with a small amount of marijuana you could be a prohibited person. If you got busted for shoplifting in Pennsylvania as a teen you might be a prohibited person (if you got busted for the same offense in Texas and took what appears to be the same deal from the DA you wouldn’t be prohibited).

    We have had at least two octogenarians in PA who had some minor infraction MANY DECADES ago run afoul of these laws.


    • Simple fix would be to have gun restrictions on individuals automatically expire after a period of time. Say 1.5 time the sentence for nonviolent and 3 times for violent convictions. You could do something with mental health restrictions as well.

      • What would it fix? It still wouldnt work. It still assumes guilt. It will still only effect people who follow the law. You ignored everything he said and basically tweaked what he originally refuted. That would solve nothing.

        It only works on felons who reform themselves and thats because they follow the law. Mental health is the same thing. A dangerous mentally ill person is still dangerous. mental illness does not mean stupid they can still build steal or straw purchase.

      • You are presuming good faith on the part of law enforcement.

        The issue we have with mental health in PA is that the state police treat an overnight VOLUNTARY observation and an INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT. In the last few years we have a good attorney who has been winning cases on overturning these improper mental health denials. But the state police won’t appeal so as not establish a precedent so each case continues to have to be fought independently. If you get a non gun lawyer he will advise you to plead out and now you have 2 felony convictions on top of whatever you previously had. Or you may not get a lawyer at all and take the plea offer from that nice prosecutor who won’t explain things to you fully.

        The state police know damn well that a 302 is not an involuntary commitment. So do the DAs and the AG office. They prosecute these people anyway.

        • I’m not putting any faith in the ‘system’ . The point of the expiration is to remove the restriction WITHOUT the involvement of officials. For mental heath something like a restriction of no more 90-180 days, and would require a renewal order.

    • As always, Crimson Pirate, sensible and direct. I look forward to meeting you in Harrisburg this month. My wife and I will both be there day 2. Day 1 is a parental rights rally also at the Capitol. I’ll be the guy with the Infowars t-shirt, the Sneaky Pete, and the good looking woman.

    • I don’t believe that is correct. To be a prohibited person, you have to be formally declared a prohibited person by a judge. Otherwise your name is not supposed to be in the system at all.

      • You are incorrect.

        You merely have to meet one of the federal statutory requirements and depending on how states write their laws it can be different in different states and even different in the same state for offenses at different times.

        A notable PA gun lawyer uses the example that if you received a DUI in PA he will have to get your official case disposition and consult 5 different law books to figure out if you are prohibited or not.

        If you were taken in for VOLUNTARY OBSERVATION the PA state police will treat it as an INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT and at the point where you find this out the hard way you will have to retain one of our very good but expensive lawyers to get your ass out of the sling.

        Now of course the friendly DA or AG will be along with a plea offer that will make it all go away if you just take the deal, but then you will be a twice convicted felon with no gun rights.

  7. “Here’s something we all can agree on: When criminals attempt to illegally obtain firearms we must enforce the law by arresting and prosecuting them.”

    Nope. Shall not be infringed.

    Here’s your goat.

    • John in Ohio,

      You failed to explain why that is so important.

      Any government can declare that anything is a crime, such as being a member of a “terrorist” civil rights organization (cough, San Francisco City Council, cough, cough). As a result, government could quite literally brand anyone and everyone a “felon” and then fail us on background checks.

      And then we have to consider simple malaise or intentional derailment: the government entity who operates the background check system could be careless and operate it haphazardly. Or that government entity could purposely under-resource the background check system and effectively bring it to a halt.

      • Of course, you are correct.

        How I view it is that its my right. They need to keep their mitts off! Government infringement on the RKBA is nothing short of thuggery. The short answer from me to government is… No. It’s mine. Hands off.

        • I notice Beatoff is backing away from his stupidity, of course he did not mean THAT, and so forth. I suspect he’ll be moving out of Texas if he ever hopes to hold elected office again.

      • Gee whiz, that’s just pure fantasy.

        I mean it’s not like any recent presidential administration has ever done anything like under fund the system so that people wrongly denied on a background check couldn’t effectively appeal their incorrect denial. Well except for Obama, and his (in)justice compartment. The same administration that used the IRS to attack his political enemies, and refused to prosecute hate crimes against any ethnicity except blacks.

        And certainly no law enforcement entity has failed to follow through, due to racial quotas imposed from a certain presidential administration, on multiple calls about a dangerous individual, including to federal law enforcement authorities, and then that person committed a mass shooting. Certainly that has never happened. Well, except for that one time in Florida……….

        Of course there have been no cases where mental health professionals, state authorities or the military has simply failed to submit the data at all, thus allowing a person to buy guns and commit mass murder. Well, except for Sutherland Springs, and Virginia tech, and Gabby Giffords, and Aurora Colorado.

  8. Oh, the law is definitely going to be enforced

    per scotus blog 18-280 has be scheduled for oral arguments on 12-2-19. Guess NYCs hosejob of trying to moot the case did not work.

    Good things are coming my friends!

  9. Libturds are not interested in punishing criminals, they are only interested in turning law abiding citizens into criminals.

  10. Yeah, and not like the wardens on Northwoods Law where they give felons in possession a break on a regular basis, felons who also illegally shot a deer. Some sentences should be doubled like “straw man” purchasers who should also be charged with any crime the recipient commits and serve that sentence consecutively. Others should be doubled too. Let’s see how much a wife or girlfriend loves some punk. If people are going to screw with our rights and our enjoyment of them they should pay a real price. A felon in possession should be 20 years, not 10, and life for a second offense.

    • “If people are going to screw with our rights and our enjoyment of them they should pay a real price.”

      Um… That would be government doing the screwing, my friend. Remember, anything government does outside constitutionally portioned authority is invalid. The 2A states “shall not be infringed.” Government infringes. That’s beyond its legitimate power to do so. By supporting government in acting unconstitutionally, you are supporting tyranny.

  11. It’s one thing to prosecute someone who knew or should have known that he was a prohibited person. It’s another to prosecute someone who isn’t prohibited but was denied in error or someone who was led to believe wrongly that a past conviction would cease to exist after he successfully completed probation. NICS generates false positives and convicts don’t always understand the ramifications of their convictions. It doesn’t help when defense lawyers tell their clients, “Plead guilty and I’ll get you probation. Then you won’t have to risk jail time.” They don’t tell their clients that doing so ends their gun rights.

    • There certainly should be clarity about what, precisely, is meant by the word “expunged”. It sounds to me like it means the crime never happened, but I have heard that nothing “expunges” anyone from the list of prohibited persons. Since there are all manner of offers of expungement in exchange for completion of some course of action or another, we need to understand this thoroughly before we start locking people up for 10 years because they were caught shooting a round of sporting clays with a friend’s gun, and of course the friend goes to prison as well.

  12. about the severity of the gun culture in the US. Especially when some lunatic goes ballistic on Main St. So before you get your panties in Wad, lets look at the whole scheme of things.

    Before we start these numbers came cdc, New York Times, Wikipedia, and the Census Bureau. All taken from the internet. Feel free to verify them if you like.

    Next, let me say that I am totally sympathetic to the victims families losing a loved, no matter how that loss occurred, is severely painful.

    Now, the numbers. 308.5 million people in the US as of last census, 393 million guns, (2018). Forty thousand gun deaths, according to NYT, of which more than half were suicides, only fourteen thousand were homicides, CDC. (2017)

    However, taking the full forty thousand, that’s less than one half of one percent of the population. Rounded up it’s point zero thirteen (.013)

    So now some very uninformed, although well meaning (I hope) politions, want to try and deprive more than fifty percent of the population (154 million people) of their constitutional rights. Even going so far as wanting to open the Constitution and delete or amend the number two amendment of the Bill of Rights. I didn’t count the entire population which would have their right to protect themselves revoked simply because they don’t want that responsibility. They rather delegate that to an under paid, over worked, half trained, twenty minutes away individual that quite possibly be misinformed, and end up being shot or if lucky just tazed, instead of rescued. But that’s another story for another time.

    For those who like to throw vehicles into the mix there are some two hundred ninty three million vehicles most of them passenger vehicles, so a little more than half the number of guns, that caused more than two thirds the amount of deaths as did guns. You can look that exact number up if you’re interested.

    Not to be labor a point, but those vehicles were driven by people, however there have been cases, not many, but, some, where the vehicle was responsible for some deaths without any assistance or mishandling from a person. To my knowledge there has never been a case of any firearm, laying around, just going off and killing someone without a little help from a human.

    I don’t have any numbers to backup what I’m about to say, but that never seems to bother the people who want to make life miserable for gun owners, so here goes. I would wager that there are, tragically, as many children killed by being left in a hot car, as there are who died from being shot by someone.

    One solution that probably no one would like, would be make it mandatory that reaching the age of sixteen they would be drafted, no exception, no excuse, male or female. They would take their basic training during summer break and get two hours of military training while in school, there after.

    This would allow them to be evaluated mentally, those deemed unfit to serve would be unfit to have a weapon. The stable ones would of course be given extensive firearm training. Not to leave the adults out, anyone who has not been in the military up to the age of seventy-five would also be drafted, evaluated, and trained. Again no exception, no excuse. After their training they would be required to be armed at all times outside their homes.

    People who are permanently bedridden but have full mental capacity and have control of their arms and hands would also be trained.

    Obviously this would take quite some time and effort. The training would have to be tailored to each individual but trained they would be. Not only in weapons but also in self discipline and comportment. Something this country is lacking in, all the way up to and including all of Washington DC.

  13. I’ll say it once again. All second amendment supporters should pay their bills and purchases with two dollar bills. Including any tax liabilities, driver’s license, license plates, property tax, and any other expenditures. These people who want to infringe upon our rights, this includes most of main stream media, solely to sell advertising for profit, think they have us out numbered, but they are wrong about that as well. Let them know where their livelihoods come from. Got a business, pay your employees in cash with two dollar bills. The run on banks for said currency will certainly open their eyes as it will the government mint when they have pay over time just to print more to keep up with the demand.

  14. No. I absolutely disagree with this. I have known people rejected and neither would be considered criminals. And neither knew they were blacklisted until their denial. One was an error in the system with his SSN, the other was from an accusation from a previous (years ago) divorce which was later dropped.

    A denial simply shows the system works. An arrest for a firearms charge can easily cost someone their job and livlihood. Filling out a NICS form should not be a gamble with such a high risk.

    How about making NICS access public so citizens can check their status in advance and take necessary action to correct it if possible? But naw, let’s just arrest them instead.

    • In PA if your friends didn’t send in their state appeal form they would be charged with two felonies for lying on the state and federal forms.

    • Well, I’m not in the business, but here’s the way it *should* work. There is a difference between being a prohibited person and simply failing a NICS check. You could fail a NICS check just because of mistaken identity. But NICS is intended to catch prohibited persons who are trying to purchase a firearm. IOW, failing a NICS check is not illegal in any way. If the reason you fail is that you are a prohibited person attempting to purchase a firearm, you have just committed a felony worth 10 years of your time, and you have been caught, and that should be the result.

      • Well that will not allow state police to say “Look, we arrested all these bad guys.” and DA/AGs to say “Look, we convicted all these bad guys (cough, ahem, we let them plead out)”, and Shira Goodman of CeasefirePA to say “All of these evil criminals were stopped from buying guns by background checks!”

  15. Meh. The vast majority of mass shooters passed background checks, and the vast majority of people who failed background checks didn’t become mass shooters and are in fact no danger to anyone.

    This misguided urge to “do something” is just as bad coming from the right as from the left.

  16. The only problem with this is that after buying many guns I had to pawn one that I had bought about a month earlier,and was denied when I went to pick it up.There is an appeal form that that you can fill out and sent back to the fbi for a recheck or a reason for denial .I received a letter from the fbi saying that the denial was overturned and that I could legally own a firearm.That being said there needs to be a waiting period before everyone is notified if there is an appeal in progress.I never found out why I was I can be as simple as having a name or address similar to a felon or mental defective.So if an appeal is filed you have to do it with a week there should be nothing done until after due process.

    • In PA if you appeal, the state [police will wait for the outcome. If you elect not to appeal, you will be charged with 2 felonies. These are not “gun people”. These are ordinary people for whom guns are not a regular part of their lives. So many of them upon denial decide it is too much trouble and don’t appeal. Nobody tells them what is about to happen. Then they get slammed by the state police.

      • Such people *still* have not committed any crime unless they are prohibited persons. Simply not appealing a refusal is not a crime. Still, I like that state attitude, probably should be copied. Likely when state cops begin investigation they will discover there was no crime and never even notify the concerned individual. At the same time, I’d bet they won’t notify that individual that he is entitled to buy a gun, either.

        • You have way too much faith in law enforcement. They do not discover that no crime has been committed, ever. The do not investigate. If you do not appeal the denial that indicates that you knew you were prohibited and lied on the form(s). You are guilty and they prosecute you.

          You get a call form the state police to come down and “sort this out”. When you get there you are arrested, photographed, fingerprinted, booked and released on your own recognizance. Then you get a call from the prosecutor offering you a plea deal. That deal is basically that if you plead guilty then you won’t have to do any jail time. The full ramifications of that are never explained.

          People not knowing any better take this deal and then have 1 or 2 felony convictions and are permanently prohibited from ever even touching a gun or ammunition with almost no chance of changing it at this point. People then lose jobs, can’t pass background checks for things other than guns, and have all kinds of problems.

          The state police treat a VOLUNTARY OBSERVATION as if it is an involuntary commitment. If you had a VOLUNTARY MENTAL HEALTH OBSERVATION at any point in your history you will need to retain a lawyer to help you sort this out. If you retain the lawyer after you try to buy a gun and get denied it is going to be harder, longer, and more expensive to fix than if you do it before trying to buy a gun. But ordinary people and even many gun people do not know this.

          Under PA law all sorts of things are prohibiting, some specifically because the law says so, and some because of the lengths of the potential sentence. If you got caught with a small amount of marijuana as a teenager, or maybe had a DUI in your early 20’s you might be prohibited. Laws change over the years and the length of potential sentences get changed and whether or not something is specifically prohibiting changes so the same DUI, drug possession, or shoplifting offense might or might not make you prohibited depending on when you got it.

          We have examples of octogenarians who have never committed a serious crime going to buy their first gun and then getting arrested and prosecuted because of a DUI or minor drug offense or some other stupid thing DECADES AGO.

          The Stazi, the KGB, and Gestapo would be proud of the way PSP handles this situation.

          • agree completely. There are way too many laws all around the world that can bar you from all sorts of things where there is no victim. The old common law axiom of “if there is no victim there is no crime” is a good one to use to decide what laws neeed to be removed from the books. Then there are many crimes Eg embezzlement that could be covered by laws pertaining to theft and many of these carry a lesser sentence despite the fact that they often involve greater sums of money.
            Keep the laws simple and few and all having the requirement that there must be a victim, and the penalties harsh and then you are more likely see a drop in crime and criminal activity.
            Personally i would also make some of the most severely punished crimes be those committed by law enforcement, the judiciary, politicians and bureaucrats due to the fact that many of these crimes have greater effects than if the same was committed by the average person on the street due to the position of “authority”. Even writing a “law” or “regulation” that removes rights of otherwise law abiding people I personally would put them away for 20+ years. Doing this might put a damper on the continuous efforts to enslave the populace.

  17. Good idea, except for human nature, which seems to desire, perhaps demand the acquisition and use of shiny new tools, that might or might not work, as opposed to the use of existing but slightly worn tools that, when properly used, do work as has been clearly demonstrated.

  18. “The Crimson Pirate says:
    Background checks are violation because they require me to prove that I have not been labeled a prohibited person. If someone thinks I should not have a gun they should be required to prove that I am a danger to myself or others at their own expense. not compel me to prove that I am not, at my expense.”
    Background checks don’t ask you to prove anything, except for are you say who you are, by showing an accepted form of ID (IE driver’s license).
    The rest of the form is a yes/no, and you can lie your ass off if you wish.
    It’s totally up to the “Powers That Be” to determine the rest of the story. Is you is, or is you ain’t a convicted whack-job murdering lying wife-beating child molesting suicidal pervert.
    If not, you’re pretty much cool, and good to go buy your murdering high-capacity explosive ammo shooting whisper-quiet four-hundred round rapid automatic fire weapon of mass destruction, with the thing that goes up, so you can sell it out of your trunk to your son who just got a D- in four-dimensional post-grad number theory, and can’t get a girlfriend.

    • Exactly! Background checks are the accusation that I am a convicted whack-job murdering lying wife-beating child molesting suicidal pervert and force me prove that I am not by submitting detailed personal information to be checked against the tyrant’s official records.

      Now, where can I get a high-capacity explosive ammo shooting whisper-quiet four-hundred round rapid automatic fire weapon of mass destruction, with the thing that goes up, ’cause I want one.

      But I would keep it. I have regretted every gun I ever sold or pawned. So I stopped doing it.

      So your son who just got a D- in four-dimensional post-grad number theory, and can’t get a girlfriend will just have to buy his own.

    • Yup, you can lie your ass off on a 4473, just realize that each lie is 5 years in prison if they call you on it.

      • Except that real criminals are too smart to fill one out in the first place and the people who get prosecuted for it are people who made a mistake or did not know they were prohibited.

      • But less than 1% will be called on it. Not all of those will be prosecuted. That’s not much of a risk.

        • Unless you are in PA. Then you will be charged regardless of whether you are a danger to society or not.

  19. Minority caught with a stolen gun in a liberal state with a Leftist DA means they PLEA BARGAIN it down to a lesser offense and it never shows on the record of being a true gun crime. THAT is how the Leftist think Justice is supposed to work.

  20. The article is written with the unstated bias that gun control laws are designed to prevent crime. They are not. They are written with the intention to infringe, delay, deny the 2nd amendment. It they were actually written to produce GOOD, then they would apply to other rights as well. For example, to vote would also require a government issued ID card, a special license, and the passing of a background check. Hillary Clinton’s vote to go into Iraq killed more Americans than any mass killer ever dreamed about killing. Those people who voted her into the Senate are just as guilty of killing all of those Americans just the same as if they personally shot each of their victims. The same requirements could be applied to each politician in that before they are allowed to speak, they have to buy a government approved license, pass a background check [lying about war service, ethnic background, or racial background would be disqualifying] and have to go through the procedure each and every time they want to make a speech rather in Congress, in front of the media or in front of a live audience. After all, we are always being told that EVERY right is subject to ‘reasonable and common sense’ limitations.

  21. When I took my CWorFL (as Florida officially refers to it) class was a comprehensive affair that also included the requisite training, documentation and filling out a Form 4473 as part of the application. The instructor, an LEO, clearly stated that anyone who had to answer question 11d in the affirmative should meet with him in the back of the classroom. His intention was to arrest any such person on the spot. If more enforcement like this occurs we would not “need” to fix NICS, nor UBCs.

    • We need emojis here. Emojis and an edit button. I need a facepalm emoji right now.

      Did anyone, ANYONE ever get up and go to meet him in the back of the room?

      Why would someone who KNOWS that they are prohibited take the class?

    • PS: I am so glad that we do not have to take a class in PA.

      It’s bad enough that we have to ask for a permission slip and pass a background check for a license too.

      At least in TX once you go through this unconstitutional intrusive accusative garbage your permission slip acts as a background check and you don’t have to wait for clearance when you buy a gun.

  22. You overlook the oblivious. As I recall it was a Vice President named Joe something-or-another, that was questioned about that and he said we don’t have the man power to track down everyone who makes a mistake or lies on a 4473. That is the same guy who want to ban our sporting rifles, limit magazine capacity, etc.

    Why did I use the word ‘oblivious’? Because most of our politicians seem to be blind to how firearms actually work or how often a firearm is used defensively every day in the United States. I often wonder it I painted an AR white, if it would be more acceptable to them. Many seem to make excuses for people who are criminals. But they also live is gated and secured communities, are protected by armed security and have no clue what inner-city people have to deal with. That crime is spreading to the more rural areas.

    • It’s funny you mentions that. Now, 3 years later, the very same Joe Biden has figured out a solution; go after the dealers when someone makes a mistake on a 4473. FFL prosecutions and revocations are up 500% in 2022. Welcome to the future.

  23. Gun Safety that does not take away a person’s guns
    I’d like to share my proposal for a safety program that allows gun enthusiasts to buy and own weapons of war while maintaining a higher degree of safety to the general public. It is possible to allow owners of these weapons to get together with their buddies and target practice. The concept is similar to military gun ranges. The key to this is having licensed gun target ranges that would keep the guns locked up for their customers, who could come and use their own guns to target practice all they want. The caveat is that they would not be allowed to take their weapons off the licensed property without special permits and tracking.
    A gun owner could arrange to bring their own gun safe to the range to keep their own guns.
    Severe penalties would be administered to those that violate the laws, including no longer being able to own a weapon.
    Rewards would be given to anyone notifying the ATF of violators. This would apply to ghost guns as well.
    Special training and testing would be required for all gun owners.
    Additional rules could be considered for inclusion. It would make sense to use many of our Department of Defense gun possession requirements.
    Target ranges could do background checks as they see fit to limit their liability.

    Military firearms Rules and guidelines.

    • Yuck Fou!

      We won’t go along with any of that. When the cops come to kick down our doors for disobeying those draconian laws will you be in the stack?

      That is almost exactly what they did many years ago in England. When they then decided to ban something entirely it was easy to identify the owners, the items, and their locations.

      How about this; eliminate all gun laws so anyone can one can own anything and carry it anytime and anywhere. Then the people who want to cause harm will never know what they will be facing.

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