The President will get in front of a podium and make an impassioned speech about the need for expanded gun control laws, but what is he leaving out?
Posts Tagged ‘Background Checks’
Beyond some of the most ardent supporters of the Second Amendment, Shooter’s Log readers have often shown their support for Gun Owners of America (GOA). Recently,
A few weeks ago, the Shooter’s Log reported that the Obama Administration is looking for ways to
Presenting the Shooter’s Log weekly wrap up of the major news and trending stories that affect gun owners from August 9-15, 2015.
Guest post by Larry Keane, Senior VP and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation
Following the recent tragedies in Charleston, Chattanooga and Lafayette, there has been considerable discussion in the media about how the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS) works. Some observations have been off-target,
President Obama is seeking to expand gun control through executive action and the back door. All it takes is a phone and a pen to potentially strip the Second Amendment from millions of citizens
The gun-rights debate is taking a nastier-than-usual turn, wherein members of the anti-gun-rights crowd are publicly calling for the federal government to move against gun-rights supporters — in particular, the NRA and its leadership — and arrest, jail, try, rendition, or otherwise attack outspoken gun-rights supporters.
Fifty-five county sheriffs, the Colorado Outfitters Association, several firearms retailers, Magpul Industries, disabled individuals, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and other parties have brought a federal lawsuit to challenge to Colorado’s recently enacted gun-control laws.
Michael Bloomberg, and his anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, recently launched a multi-million dollar ad campaign featuring this curious gun owner:
In a March 2013 poll conducted by PoliceOne.com, a majority of law-enforcement personnel said universal background checks, “assault weapons” bans, and “high capacity” magazine bans do not make police safer and will not lower violent crime. Armed citizens, on the other hand, do make a positive difference.
I’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about the NRA on Facebook, Twitter and this Blog. So, I decided to take three of the most common myths and shed some light on the conversation.
“The NRA supports Universal Background Checks”
Though I wrote about this several weeks ago, I feel I need to address this topic again. Recent news articles claim the NRA is having closed-door talks with politicians in order to work out a background check deal. Though these articles typically come from less-than-reputable news sources, they have created quite a buzz. The NRA stated on multiple occasions they are not in the business of Universal Background Checks and they staunchly oppose the implementation of Universal Background Checks or anything that could lead to a National Firearms Registry. Though I am not behind those closed-doors on the Hill, I can speculate that any background check discussion would be the NRA’s push for strengthening and improving the current system. As it stands today, the NICS system is imperfect, incomplete and unenforced. Obviously, there is the occasional problem with false positives—letting a restricted person, such as a convicted felon, purchase a gun—and false negatives—mistakes made that cause a legal gun owner to be rejected for purchase of a new firearm. However, and more importantly, felons attempting to purchase weapons through the NICS system are not usually prosecuted, though it is a federal felony to lie on Form 4473. Also, adjudicated mental disorders are not regularly reported to NICS, allowing the person in question to purchase a firearm despite federal law. The NRA supports measures to improve the system, so people who shouldn’t have guns can’t purchase them. Let’s look at the official numbers:
- In 2010, over 6 million NICS checks were made. 98.8% of those were legal gun owners.
- 1.2% or 72,659 people were rejected in the NICS system as not able to purchase firearms.
- 34,459 of those were felons and 13,862 were fugitives (others were domestic abusers, drug addicts, and those with restraining orders against them).
How many of those people were prosecuted for their felony gun crime? 62. And how many of those were convicted of their crime? 13. Judging by the numbers, it is clear our background check system could use a bit of improvement. If the NRA does come out backing any type of “background check deal,” I’m quite certain it will involve actually enforcing the laws on the books and improving the NICS system to ensure that people who shouldn’t be allowed to purchase guns can’t actually buy them.
“The NRA sold us out then, and they’ll do it again!”
I have seen and heard many comments along this line. The NRA pushed this way or that on some bill or another that restricted gun rights. Is it true? In some ways, yes. The NRA-ILA and the CRLDF take on hundreds if not thousands of cases every year. And though we would love to “never give an inch, never surrender,” sometimes the best or only option is to compromise; such as in the 1986 “Firearm Owners Protection Act.” This bill prevented the BATFE from repeatedly harassing or intimidating FFL dealers and gun owners, prevented prosecution for transporting across state lines, prevented a national firearms registry and prevented prosecution for transporting a firearm through a state with restrictive gun laws. However, the law also added that fully automatic weapons had to be registered or they could not be owned or transferred. Despite the added “machine gun ban” amendments, the NRA still backed the bill because the benefits to gun owners were great strides in gun rights. Automatic weapons were already highly regulated by this time, so it was worth it to the lobbyists to let registration of automatic weapons go. So, in a way the NRA did turn their backs on gun owners. However, the NRA did so only to gain more rights for gun owners in exchange for a little extra hassle for automatic weapon ownership. To put it in a contemporary setting, if Congress was voting on bills for an assault weapons ban, magazine ban, universal background checks, and a national firearms registry, the NRA would resist those bills and push a less intrusive “One percent extra firearm tax to pay for better school security” bill. (I must note however, that the above is only an illustration, not any sort of accurate estimate of the NRA’s legislative agenda. It is merely an example of how the NRA would compromise with Congress to push actual common sense solutions that would have more effect in the real world.)
“The NRA is just a shill for the gun and ammo manufacturers!”
This is something I’ve heard too many times. There is some truth to it, but not much. The NRA is made up of members who love shooting, collecting, hunting, and everything else gun related. People who love guns and want to keep their rights to own and use those guns join the NRA to join the largest lobbying and interest group in the nation. People who work for the shooting sports industry, such as myself, my colleagues, gunsmiths at Beretta, ammo manufacturers at Remington and the gun cabinet guy at Cabelas, all join the NRA because they defend our firearm passion and livelihood. Companies often donate money to the NRA to protect our RTKBA. But is the NRA just taking orders from all gun companies? No, the NRA takes orders from the members of the association; the guys and gals who love guns and want to keep their rights. If any group is a “shill” for the firearm and ammunition companies, it would the NSSF, but even that is a stretch. The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade organization that represents all of the companies that make up the shooting sports. Their job is to protect and defend shooting industry companies and rights. However, in this industry, the views of the NRA and the NSSF almost always are directly tied if not the same. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” the old saying goes, and what is good for the gun owner is good for the gun industry.
I hope I have cleared some myths up for you. If I haven’t, or if you have other questions you want answered, please tell me in the comment section. I will field whatever questions you have regarding the NRA or current legislation and I will try to answer them to the best of my ability.
If you would like to join the NRA, please take advantage of the discounted membership.
What’s the real story? Will the NRA oppose universal background checks? Or will they allow that legislation to prevent worse bills from going through Congress? I have heard multiple sources say different things and it caused me concern over what is actually the case. On Tuesday, NBC News reported the NRA would not oppose a “background check deal—if Democrats cede a tough records fight.” Evidently the NRA told some members of Congress they would not campaign against the bill. In the same article, however, the head of the NRA-ILA, Chris Cox, was quoted saying, “we do not take positions on hypotheticals. We will make our position known if and when legislation is introduced… To be clear, the National Rifle Association does not support legislation that would criminalize otherwise lawful transfers of firearms between law-abiding Americans.” After reading the article, I began to wonder how its author could make such a claim. The official statement was the NRA would oppose universal background checks, yet the author stated the exact opposite, citing mysterious unnamed “aides familiar with the stalled negotiations.”