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Posts Tagged ‘universal background checks’

President Obama and the gun ban lobby would have us believe that their proposal for so-called “universal” background checks and bans on standard capacity ammunition magazines are just commonsense.  It’s what they don’t tell us that should have us worried.  For instance, Independence Institute Director of Research Dave Kopel has recently written about the unintended (or likely intended) consequences of “expanded” background checks as laid out by Everytown for Gun Safety.  Now NRANews commentator Dana Loesh goes a step further in identifying what the gun ban lobby really wants.

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Dave Kopel has a great piece over on the Washington Post’s Volokh Conspiracy blog that details just what so-called “universal” background checks mean for safety training and self-defense.  Make no mistake, the gun ban lobby’s version of background checks is not what most people think of when the term is used:

The Bloomberg system applies to every firearms “transfer.” In normal firearms law, a “transfer” means “a permanent exchange of title or possession and does not include gratuitous temporary exchanges or loans.” Chow v. State. 393 Md. 431, 473, 903 A.2d 388, 413 (2006).

However, the Bloomberg laws create a very different definition. For example, the Washington state law says that “ ‘Transfer’ means the intended delivery of a firearm to another person without consideration of payment or promise of payment including, but not limited to, gifts and loans.” Rev. Code Wash. § 9.41.010(25). In other words, it applies to sharing a gun while target shooting on one’s own property, or to lending a gun to a neighbor for a weekend hunting trip.

Under the Bloomberg system, transfers may take place only at a gun store. The transfer must be conducted exactly as if the retailer were selling a firearm out of her inventory. So the transferee (the neighbor borrowing the hunting gun) must fill out ATF Form 4473; the retailer must contact the FBI or its state counterpart for a background check on the transferee; and then, the retailer must take custody of the gun and record the acquisition in her Acquisition and Disposition book. Finally, the retailer hands the gun to the transferee and records the disposition in her Acquisition and Disposition book. A few days later, after the hunting trip is over, the process must be repeated for the neighbor to return the gun to the owner; this time, the owner will be the “transferee,” who will fill out Form 4473 and undergo the background check.

Kopel goes on to explain why this is bad for self-defense and safety training.  Read the entire article and file it for use when explaining why we oppose this move by the gun ban lobby.

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Jazz Shaw has a great post over on Hot Air that really picks apart those numbers that the main stream media used to take President Obama up on his challenge to compare the number of Americans killed by terrorism and those killed by people who used a gun.

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He chose to focus on 2011, probably because some government numbers lag behind others and that was the year for which he could get the most complete stats:

First of all, look at the number of gun deaths on that chart from 2011. It’s 32,351. That’s a lot of gun deaths to be sure. So that’s the total number of murders by gun owners, right? The answer is not only Hell No, but it’s not even remotely close. It’s true that this figure is close to the total number of human lives ended in incidents involving a gun, but that’s all incidents. So how did those deaths happen?

Straight from the CDC where most of the media is drawing their numbers (while not as good of a source as the FBI or the Justice Department) we can find out that of those 32,352 gun deaths, 21,175 of them were suicides. That leaves us with 11,177 deaths to account for. But as it turns out, the FBI records that 8,583 deaths were murders of various sorts involving guns of all types. The remaining roughly 2,500 were accounted for by accidents and unintentional injuries. These include hunting accidents, toddlers getting hold of unsecured weapons and shooting somebody or just plain idiots who proved Darwin right.

Then he delved into the type of firearms used in those murders:

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After almost every mass shooting, one of the top three proposals from the gun ban lobby is we have to ban so-called “assault weapons.”  That’s just one more “check off the list” proposal because when we look at the actual 8,583 gun murders committed in 2011, only 323 were committed with rifles. That’s not just “assault” rifles,  that’s all rifles, including bolt action, hunting rifles and all the rest. Shaw notes that the number committed with so called “assault” rifles were a fraction of the total.  Compare that with the almost “1,700 who were stabbed as well as nearly 500 murdered with blunt objects and and more than 700 beaten to death by somebody with their bare hands.”  I guess the advocates for victims killed with hammers and fists will soon be calling for a ban of those too.

Then there are the calls for so-called “universal background checks.  Shaw addresses that:

So we’re down to 8,583 intentional killings using guns. That’s still one heck of a lot of bodies, and surely enough to justify new background checks and other restrictions on legal gun purchases, right? Again… not even close. The Justice Department has been studying the question of legal vs. illegal sources of guns used in crimes for decades, going back to this study issued in the early nineties. They admit that the numbers are simply too hard to track for us to pin down exact figures, but the trends are steady over the years. The vast majority of guns used in crimes were gotten through illegal means outside the legal purchase regimen followed by law abiding gun owners. Roughly one quarter of inmates convicted of gun crimes admitted to having stolen a gun in that study. For the ones that weren’t stolen directly, another 2004 study showed that 40% of convicts bought their guns on the black market and another 37% got them through the “gray market” in various illegal methods.

In fact, one study after another has shown that legally purchased weapons which followed all the normal firearms transfer rules accounted for somewhere between six and eight percent of all murders. And the majority of those were domestic violence incidents, violence between family members, crimes of passion and, yes… murders committed by the insane. But let’s give the gun grabbers the benefit of the doubt, round it up and say that ten percent were committed with legally purchases guns. That works out to around 850.

We can agree that 850 is still too many people, but it’s nowhere near the 32,000 per year that the gun ban lobby typically talk about.

The vast majority of people who die by firearms do so at their own hand, suicide.  As Shaw and others have noted, that’s not a gun control issue.  Accidental (or negligent as I prefer to call them) deaths are also a small part of the total but those numbers have been going down steadily over the years and the NRA and the National Shooting Sports Foundation have done a good job helping to make that happen.

So, the next time someone pushing gun control tries to trot out that over 30,000 people a year die because of “gun violence” you now have the facts to effectively refute them.

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With several races yet to be determined, we do know that Republicans have gained a majority in the U.S. Senate.  With this change, pro-rights forces have also strengthened their hand in the chamber.  Here in Virginia, it appears that NRA “C” rated Senator Mark Warner has survived a scare from Republican Ed Gillespie with Warner clinging to a lead of just under 13,000 votes, although Warner has yet to claim victory and Gillespie has yet to concede.  It is possible that neither will happen until the state canvass votes is complete.  One note on the Gillespie race, if all of the people who cast a vote for 7th District GOP candidate Dave Brat and 10th District GOP candidate Barbara Comstock had also cast their ballots for Ed Gillespie, he would be celebrating victory.  For instance, in Chesterfield County, Gillespie underperformed the two GOP House Candidates also on the ballot (Chesterfield is split between the 4th and 7th Congressional Districts) by almost 5500 votes – almost half of his overall margin of loss.  How people could vote for Dave Brat and then cast a vote for Mark Warner, someone who has supported Barack Obama 97% of the time, is beyond me.

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Even though he is likely to win, Warner has to be smarting this morning.  Dan Palazzolo, a professor of political science at the University of Richmond, told the Richmond Times Dispatch:

“Voter turnout matters greatly. Too many Democrats stayed home, which is as much a reflection on Warner than Obama. He has lost 15 percent of his vote share from 2008.”

Over all, it was a good night for gun owners but there were some While candidates supporting firearm freedom won across the nation, gun owners in Washington State suffered a loss with the passage of Initiative 594 (I-594).  That is the initiative that supporters said would require background checks before you sell your privately owned firearm to another private individual, but in reality does much more. I-594 was approved with about 60% of the vote and the competing initiative I-591, which would not allow any background checks that exceeds what federal law was losing with about 55% of the vote against.  The gun ban lobby is already gathering signatures for a similar initiative in Nevada, and future campaigns are being planned for Arizona and Maine.  Look for them to push even harder for such a law in Virginia from the General Assembly.  Virginia is not an initiative state and their only avenue is to get the General Assembly to pass a law.

So, this election is behind us (with one runoff to be held in Louisiana) and we now look forward to the General Assembly elections in Virginia in 2015 where all 100 seats of the House of Delegates and 40 seats in the State Senate are up.  We have a very slim pro-rights margin in the State Senate and we need to protect and hopefully build in that next year.  Gun owners and take a break and enjoy the holidays, but then it’s time to get back to work in 2015.

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While the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) constantly provide Obama with a show of support for his gun ban schemes, a recent survey of rank and file police show a much different story.  The NRA has used the results to make this new ad.

The vote on criminalizing private sales at gun shows and through published advertisements is today at 4:00.  Tell Mark Warner to stand with rank and file law enforcement who know what really works to prevent crime and vote no on Manchin-Toomey-Schumer.

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The vote count continues to be close but looks to be short of the 60 votes needed for approval, so Senators Manchin and Toomey are trying to sweeten the deal to appeal to rural senators who may be concerned about the requirement that advertised private sales be done through a licensed retailer because some constituents may not have easy access.  This from Politico:

Late Monday night, the New York Times reported that Manchin and Toomey are considering a possible revision to their bill that would exempt residents in rural areas living hundreds of miles from licensed gun deals from some of the requirements of the bill.

The revision, which would be added only as amendment if the Manchin-Toomey proposal is adopted, is designed to appeal to Begich and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), said aides familiar with the issue. Manchin huddled with both Alaskan senators on the floor after a vote Monday night.

However, only four Republicans are voting for the bill at this time. They include Toomey, Mark Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona.

Other Republicans are on the fence and undecided, such as Sens. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Dean Heller of Nevada. Democrats believe they will pick up some of these Republicans.

In related news, Virginia Senator Mark Warner just spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate and his comments indicate that he supports the Manchin-Toomey-Schumer background check amendment.  Please call Senator Warner and let him know that you do not approve of his support of this amendment.  Tell him that the amendment is not pro-rights but is actually a “Bonanza of Gun Control“.

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David Hawkings of Roll Call lists the senators that could decide the fate of the Manchin/Toomey/Schumer background check amendment to the senate gun control bill.

Among the Republicans, only four have so far committed to voting for the background check compromise: Toomey, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Susan Collins of Maine and John McCain of Arizona.

And the rest of the lobbying attention is being focused on six of the GOP senators who voted last week to bring the bill to the floor in the first place. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss of Georgia, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Dean Heller of Nevada, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and John Hoeven of North Dakota.

Hawkings notes that a key to knowing if they have 60 votes is if they bring up the vote early (i.e. Tuesday).  If the vote is put off one day, then they are likely close.  The longer it is put off, the less likely it is they have the votes and the harder it will likely be to get to the magic number.

Hat tip NRANews.

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