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View Diary: Deal said to be close on extending background checks for gun purchases (194 comments)

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  •  Sounds like a Harry Reid type "compromise." (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Phil S 33, pengiep

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:07:47 AM PST

    •  Sorta---seems like there are several loopholes in (5+ / 0-)

      there:

      "certain rural areas..."

      "most private sales.."  

      But, a beginning.....I think....

      •  lawyers, gubs, and money..../nt (4+ / 0-)

        Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

        by annieli on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 11:25:49 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Rec for the Take the Money and Run reference. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LilithGardener, annieli, pengiep

          One of my favorite bits of all time.  Great movie, too.

          •  some folks even get (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            high uintas, twigg, PavePusher

            nervous with the correct spelling in DK

            (2009) Officials at an Arizona school suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching what looked like a gun, saying the action posed a threat to his classmates.
            "My son is a very good boy [who] doesn't get into trouble," the boy's mother, Paula Mosteller, told CBS affiliate KPHO correspondent Mary Valenzuela. "There was nothing on the paper that would signify that it was a threat of any form."
            "He was just basically doodling and not thinking a lot about it."
            The Chandler Unified School District declined to give more details about the incident. Spokesperson Terry Locke said in a statement, "Federal privacy law forbids the school or district from discussing student discipline."
            There's nothing in a portion of the student handbook that addresses conduct to indicate the drawing of a weapon poses threat, KPHO reported.
            There is, however, a rule that says students should not engage in "threatening an educational institution by interference with or disruption of the school."
            The drawing, which is covered with smiley faces, did not show blood, bullets, injuries or target any human, the parents said. The East Valley Tribune reported that the boy said he did not intend for the picture to be a threat.
            "We're not advocates for guns," Mosteller said. "We don't have guns in our home. We don't promote the use of guns. My son was just basically doodling on a piece of paper."

            Warning - some snark above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ "We're like a strip club with a million bouncers and no strippers." (HBO's Real Time, January 18, 2013)

            by annieli on Fri Feb 15, 2013 at 01:18:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Exemption for prior background check - loophole nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Phil S 33
        •  Not necessarilly (3+ / 0-)

          Having a concealed carry permit or a pistol purchase permit (as my state uses) is record of a background check that exempts you from needing an NICS check when purchasing.

          •  And my point is that clearance should be good for (0+ / 0-)

            a certain period of time, and then an NCIS check should be required any additional purchase.

            •  What kind of time frame are you thinking? (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              PavePusher, KVoimakas

              The concealed carry permit has to be renewed and they are also subject to revocation (though it is very rare for people to commit actions that cause this).

              •  I don't know, but something in the range of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                twigg

                a day or two.

                There is no reason to give concealed carry permit holders a pass.

                Currently, you have no idea how many concealed carry permit holders have purchased guns and sold them to others, or how often. Anyone who wants to purchase guns OFTEN should be a licensed collector or licensed dealer, and have to pass a higher standard of record keeping.

                Anyone who wants to purchase or sell a gun occasionally should have a current background check each time.

                •  Why a seller? (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  LilithGardener, PavePusher
                  Anyone who wants to purchase or sell a gun occasionally should have a current background check each time.
                  The seller is not acquiring any more "deadly force" -- indeed, they are relinquishing some.
                  •  Because no one in the NCIS database should be (0+ / 0-)

                    selling guns!

                    D'oh!

                    And it would be a potential way to spot straw transfers. Anyone who wants to sell firearms frequently should be a licensed collector or dealer, and should be held responsible for keeping records of what weapons they sold and to whom.

                    An occasional seller, can show that they are a lawful owner.

                    Currently, anyone who is not supposed to own a gun can very easily sell guns that they purchased illegally.  They only risk being charged if they are caught with it.

                    •  I wonder how that works... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PavePusher

                      ...if you own a firearm and have been charged with a felony. Do you need to get rid of your firearms before the jury reads the verdict -- in case you are found guilty?

                      What if you are found guilty but the verdict was overturned on appeal a year later? If you retained possession of firearms during the appeal period, are you now guilty of another crime even though you're not guilty of the first?

                      Again, I've got no idea, but it seems ridiculous that somebody should have to divest themselves of legal belongings just in case they are found guilty. So, I assume/hope the law must deal with these cases in some reasonable way. Perhaps putting them in the hands of a third party before the jury reads the verdict would suffice (although, with some of the restrictions proposed, that would become more cumbersome and possibly expensive -- I assume if the jury says "not guilty" the prosecutor would pay for the costs associated with that dance -- yeh, right...)

                      •  It depends on the felony charge (0+ / 0-)

                        I agree that being charged with a felony doesn't make one a violent criminal.

                        On the other hand, I think that being charged with a violent crime should involve at least temporarily surrendering one's firearms, perhaps all the way through appeal.

                        In other words, you don't have to sell your family heirloom, until your felony conviction is held up on appeal, but you can't keep it in the house, either, or your car, etc.

                        •  Surrendering firearms... (2+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          LilithGardener, PavePusher

                          ...is sometimes a condition of bail when prosecutors can convince a judge that it would be appropriate. Why is this not enough?

                          It seems like no new laws are needed here and the (appealable) judgement of a judge should be trusted. We trust them in much more important matters such as excluding evidence due to a technical issue and that excluded evidence can result in a violent criminal being found not guilty and released to maim or murder again.

                      •  I don't actually know, but was venturing (0+ / 0-)

                        that the felony yes/no is too black/white.

                    •  Also, isn't the goal... (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PavePusher

                      ...to reduce the number of firearms in the hands of felons and mentally ill people.

                      Discouraging such people from divesting themselves of firearms they owned before the fateful day they visited their shrink and got diagnosed as "bat shit crazy" (what is the ICD code for that?) or the jury said "guilty" seems odd. Esp. when we are verifying the firearms are going to legal hands. Seems rather odd -- makes one wonder what the real goal may be here.

                      •  I would venture a guess that the vast (0+ / 0-)

                        majority of mentally ill people can legally purchase and own firearms.

                        And the vast majority of mentally ill people are probably at no risk of shooting someone.

                        The only mentally ill people prohibited from owning guns are those who have been committed, that is my understanding. And that means our definition of mentally ill is very, very tight.

                        But then we find ourselves on the horns of a dilemma, if someone who is depressed, or suicidal, or who has PTSD will lose their right to hunt, they are less likely to seek or get help for their problems.

                        •  Yes, I did mean "mentally ill"... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          PavePusher

                          ...in the narrow sense of those who are legally prohibited from buying firearms.

                          This includes anyone who "has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution".

                          I've got no idea what it takes to be considered as having been "adjudicated as a mental defective" - although I would hope that those who lack the mental capabilities to care for themselves to the point they have been put under conservatorship would be included.

                          •  Decision by a judge - that's my understanding (0+ / 0-)

                            such as papa can't handle is affairs anymore, but won't appoint a legal guardian for himself, so the family has to go before a judge and argue that papa is mentally incapacitated for someone else to be his legal guardian.  Papa can no longer legally purchase a firearm.

                          •  I think it's pretty hard (0+ / 0-)

                            to commit someone. It requires a physician, and the police.

                            I think that a lot of domestic violence has untreated mental illness underneath it. Many domestic partner/family murder/suicides have untreated mental illness as a factor, in my view.

                            So, do we tighten the standards for mental illness reporting to NICS to prevent unstable people from purchasing guns?

                            I think not, because it's more important that people be able to seek care, and speak to their doctors, and that loved ones be able to help their loved one get mental health treatment.

                            In that case, the risk of harm from lack of treatment outweighs the potential reduction in risk from reporting to NICS.

                          •  That is a tough call... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            LilithGardener

                            ...because, admittedly without digging through the historical details, I can't recall a single "mass murderer" in the past  30 years who used firearms to commit mass murder who had actually been "adjudicated to be mentally deficient" or had been committed to a "mental institution".

                            So limiting the definition of "mentally ill" for the purposes of NICS to what it is now seems not to advance the safety of the public in any way. However, some of these mass murderers had crossed paths with mental health professionals, social workers, or police who thought they were unhinged in a way that was unsafe to society.

                            I don't have a good answer for this because, as you say, creating an environment where people are hesitant to seek help is also a Bad Idea.

                            Perhaps the current definitions are too absolute and permanent. Maybe seeking help and the mental health professionals you interact with feeling you are a threat to yourself or others should result in an "expiring" limit WRT to NICS. Maybe these incidents are reported and expunged after three years unless there had been an intervening "renewal".

                            I have known people who were prone to depression and brought their firearms to a friend saying "Please hold these for me, I don't feel safe with them right now" and, unfortunately, under some of the gun control proposals I have seen would have left the recipient with few options but to say "NO" as doing otherwise would have made them a criminal.

                            Also, some who are committed to a mental institution are not necessarily dangerous to others even if they had an nuclear weapon at their disposal -- some, of course, are. Thus the current definition is not only too narrow, but too broad as well.

                          •  It's a three horn dilemma, no easy answer (0+ / 0-)

                            right to privacy
                            need to access assistance
                            public health policy that protects others who may be at risk

                            Same problem for people in the police, and people in the military, who likely seek care in much lower numbers, because of the risk of losing their career or their job.

                            And you are so right, about the need to have an avenue for a legal gun owner to receive and securely store fire arms for a friend or family member. It's important that someone who recognizes a risk to themselves be able to easily access the support/assistance of people they trust.

                            No, I'm convinced most people who are mentally ill are not violent. It's the famous ones we hear about. The police are picking up mentally ill people up off the streets every day, and the vast majority are not violent at all, and that's a slice of severely mentally ill folks.

                      •  You are right that anyone charged with a (0+ / 0-)

                        convicted of felony or committed to a mental hospital, etc. should have a legal way to sell their fire arm (that they purchased before they were charged) to a legal buyer and get to keep the money.

                        I'm not advocating confiscation by the police, or that the police get to sell the firearm and keep the money.

                        But no, someone who is charged with a felony should not be able to buy or sell firearms, except in a tightly regulated setting.

                  •  And further, legal firearm sales are the (0+ / 0-)

                    responsibility of both the buyer and the seller.

                    Anyone who wants to buy a gun legally bears some responsibility for choosing a legal seller, and vice versa.

                    But it also is one more tool to notice and prosecute straw purchases.

                    E.g. range operator goes and purchases 20 firearms and thousands of rounds. 2 weeks later, same range owner purchases 5 more firearms and a couple thousands of rounds.

                    If instead the range owner has been buying firearms for the range and selling some of them in the parking lot to make a little extra under the table, without background checks, than a required NCIS check on the seller would prevent that, or at least make it easier to detect.

                    •  I don't understand this scenario... (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PavePusher, KVoimakas

                      ...are you suggesting the range operator purchased the guns illegally and didn't go through a background check or failed the background check?

                      Anyway, NICS (FYI, not NCIS - that's a TV show and a part of the Navy) isn't a database of gun purchases so how would it catch the range operator in this case? It seems likely she would pass the check since she had when he bought the guns

                      I understand you want a national firearms registry - but that certainly wouldn't be called National Instant Criminal Background Check System - it would have a new name like National Firearms Registry

                      •  Thank you for the education (0+ / 0-)

                        I could never remember what NICS actually stood for.

                        I'm not quite sure what I'm suggesting, just brainstorming out loud.

                        The scenario I'm imagining is a gun-range owner who passes a background check and isn't making enough money with their business, so to make a little extra money, they occasionally offer firearms classes. What is currently stopping such a person from arranging a private sale, either from the range owner or from another customer of the range?

                        Responsible gun owners and others have to admit that there is a huge underground market for gun buying/selling and there are many ways for someone to cover what they are doing. The legal barriers to entry are pathetically low.

                        There needs to be some kind of registry or title, training and licensing, and traceability.

                        I recall reading one of the problems in Newtown, CT and the surrounding area was, a proliferation of unlicensed gun ranges close to residential property. The town met and couldn't agree on what regulations should include, so no or few regulations were enacted (YET). My guess is that an unlicensed gun range would be a fine place where private gun sales are occurring to make a little cash.

              •  Revocation (0+ / 0-)
                (though it is very rare for people to commit actions that cause this).
                You may be right - but I question the value of your observation.

                You have no way of knowing what concealed carry permit holders buy, what they sell, and what happens to those weapons, because they can do almost anything with the weapon legally, and can legally purchase as much ammo as they want, and as many firearms as they want.

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