NRA’s Position on Emergency Risk Protection Orders:
Also, we oppose Sen. Rubio’s bill on this issue, as it doesn’t meet our standards/requirements
NRA Statement on Bump Stocks:
Today, the Department of Justice announced a final rule on “bump-stock-type devices.” We are disappointed that this final rule fails to address the thousands of law-abiding Americans who relied on prior ATF determinations when lawfully acquiring these devices. As we recommended to ATF in our comments on the proposed rule, Congress made it possible for the Attorney General to provide amnesty for firearms regulated under the National Firearms Act. The Attorney General should have exercised that authority to provide a period of amnesty under this rule.
Information on “Universal” Background Checks:
So-called universal background checks will never be universal because criminals do not comply with the law. Instead of looking for effective solutions that will deal with the root cause of violent crime and save lives, anti-gun politicians would rather score political points and push ineffective legislation that doesn’t stop criminals from committing crimes.“
The gun control lobby likes to cite that 97 percent of Americans support so-called universal background checks. That is not accurate. Even in the most liberal anti-gun states, the measures did not come close to garnering 97 percent of the vote. In some instances, they failed to get a majority of the vote or barely passed. The following ballot initiatives on so-called universal background checks show the statewide support in the context of how much money gun control advocates spent versus those opposed to it.
Ballot Initiative 594 in Washington State (2014)
- 59% voted for it
- $11.2 million spent in support
- $602K spent in opposition
Question 1 in Nevada (2016)
- 50.45% voted for it
- $19.8M spent in support
- 6.6M spent in opposition
Question 3 in Maine (2016)
- 48.2% voted for it
- $7.3M spent in support
- $1.2M spent in opposition
- Murders 49% higher in states with expanded checks
- Robberies 75% higher in states with expanded checks
- Almost 80% of criminals get their guns through theft, black market,
- Less than 1% of criminals get their guns from gun shows
Sources: – National Shooting Sports Foundation–Study
Going back to VA Tech shooting in 2007: Not a single one of the cases did a perpetrator buy his weapon through an “unregulated private sale,” through “the Internet,” or in “the parking lot at a gun show.”
Recent attackers and alleged attackers who have passed background checks for their guns. These include:
o Ian Long (Thousand Oaks, California)
o Robert Bowers (Pittsburgh synagogue, Pennsylvania)
o Nikolas Cruz (Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Florida)
o Devin Patrick Kelley (Sutherland Springs, Texas)
o Omar Mateen (Pulse nightclub, Florida)
o Stephen Paddock (Las Vegas)
o Christopher Harper-Mercer (Umpqua Community College shooting, Oregon)
o Vester Flanagan (Roanoke, news crew shooting, Virginia),
o John Russell Houser (Lafayette theater shooting, Louisiana),
o Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga National Guard shooting, Tennessee)
o Dylann Roof (Charleston church shooting, South Carolina),
o Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara campus shooting, California),
o Aaron Alexis (Navy Yard, Washington, DC),
o Wade Michael Page (Sikh Temple, Wisconsin),
o James Holmes (Aurora theater, Colorado),
o Jared Loughner (Tucson, Arizona),
o Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009, Texas)
What are background checks?
In 1993, as part of the Brady Act, the federal government created the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) for federal firearm licensed dealers (FFLs) who are engaged in the business of selling guns to conduct background checks on prospective purchasers, as required by law.
What about the so-called “gun show loophole”?
There is no such thing. The same laws apply to the same categories of persons, regardless of where a firearm sale or transfer takes place. Federal law requires all federal firearm licensed dealers (FFLs) to conduct a criminal records check prior to the transfer of any firearm, whether it occurs at the dealer’s retail premises or at a gun show. Federal law strictly controls who may access the NICS and the purposes for which access is made. Generally, access is limited to federal firearm licensees and law enforcement. Under federal law, private individuals who only occasionally sell firearms from their personal collections and not for livelihood and profit are not considered to be “engaged in the business” of selling firearms, and are therefore (1) not required to be licensed dealers; (2) not required to conduct records checks prior to transferring firearms; and (3) not even permitted direct access to the records check system used by licensed dealers.
Roughly 80 percent of vendors at New Mexico gun shows are FFLs. So the charge that background checks are not being conducted at gun shows is patently false. According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, “only a small percentage of tables at gun shows, about 20 to 25 percent, actually sell firearms. The others sell books, accessories or other items.” Calls for closing the non-existent “gun show loophole” are nothing more than efforts to restrict and control the sale and transfer of firearms by private individuals and take the first step toward bringing them under the same complex regulatory scheme as licensed dealers.
Gun control advocates have for years perpetuated the myth that criminals obtain firearms at these events, while offering no evidence to support their claims. The fact is, a U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics survey of state prison inmates found that it was very rare for criminals to get their guns from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows. This source accounted for less than one percent; the overwhelming majority of criminals rely on illegal sources like the black market, or family members and friends.
What about laws that criminalize private firearms sales and transfers?
What gun control proponents refer to as “universal background check” bills are more accurately described as measures that would criminalize virtually all gun transactions between private individuals, to include gifts and loans as well as sales, between close friends, neighbors, co-workers, and many family members. The term they use gives the false impression that such laws would prevent felons and other prohibited persons from acquiring firearms, when most criminals obtain them through theft or other unlawful means. Instead of protecting the public, these laws would force individuals wanting to sell, gift or loan guns to someone they know to make a trip to an FFL, fill out extensive federal paperwork, have a background check conducted on the transferee, pay a fee. In the case of a loan of a gun, the borrower and owner would have to do this all over again when the gun is returned.
How would restrictions on private firearm transfers affect law-abiding gun owners?
Under these laws, many common activities that occur between gun owners would be criminalized if not conducted through an FFL and submitting to the accompanying federal regulatory requirements (forms, background check and fee): a man loaning his fiancée or girlfriend a handgun for protection after a rash of burglaries in her neighborhood; a member of the military who is deployed and wants to store his guns with a trusted friend; someone loaning their rifle to a co-worker who is going on a hunting trip; or a property owner loaning a ranch-owned firearm to an employee to carry on their person or in their vehicle.
Do laws criminalizing private gun transfers stop criminals and make the public safer?
No. Criminals ignore existing state and federal gun laws. There is no reason to believe that criminals will be any more likely to follow new background check laws, and these laws won’t stop criminals from stealing firearms, getting them on the black market, or getting them from straw purchasers.
In his book, “The War on Guns, Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies,” John Lott, Jr. states that economists and criminologists alike consistently find no public safety benefit from background checks. According to him, “[E]ighteen other states either currently have universal background checks or had them at some point during the past three decades. . . . When you examine all the states, there is no evidence to be found that these background checks affect murder rates.
[U]sing data from all the states from 1977 to 2005, I found that these expanded background checks produced a very small and statistically insignificant 2 percent increase in murder rates.
[A]cademic studies consistently find that background checks have failed to reduce violent crime.
[B]ackground checks have not been successful in stopping criminals from getting guns.
Many academic studies have failed to produce evidence that background checks on private purchases actually make a difference in reducing violent crimes such as murder and robbery.
[M]urders are 49 percent higher, robberies are 75 percent higher in states with expanded checks.”
Twenty-two of 24 estimates related to changes in the suicide rate and in the murder rate against women and police showed “no change in crimes or suicides as a result of . . . new background checks.” Only two estimates showed statistically significant results. “One showed that states with expanded background checks on transfers had a large increase in police gun deaths. The other showed a relatively miniscule drop in total suicides. But even these results are no longer statistically significant when other factors are taken into account.”
The bottom line is that economists, criminologists, and public health researchers have yet to find that background checks did anything to reduce violent crime.
How have so-called “universal background check” laws worked out in other states?
A 2017 study by gun control researchers looked at “universal” background check laws in three states (DE, CO, WA) and found these laws had “little measurable effect” on the number of background checks conducted in a state.
Washington State did not experience its first prosecution for a violation of that state’s 2014 private transfer ban until it had been in effect for almost two years. Nevada’s 2016 statute has been declared unenforceable by the state Attorney General because FBI refuses to process the expanded background checks.
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