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For criminals, terrorists, and mentally unstable people buying a gun without a background check is easier than getting a driver’s license. Many of these people can buy guns at frequent gun shows were background checks are not required. In fact, a large amount of weapons came from this type of shows.  

Recently, NYPD sent two undercover investigators to a gun show a hundred miles from the Tucson shoots in nearby Phoenix, Arizona. There they were able to buy on tape three guns with no questions asked. In fact, the investigators told the gun sellers that they were glad they could buy the gun on site since them "probably couldn’t pass a background check". Saying this to a gun seller who then allows you to buy a gun is illegal.

Federal law prohibits certain categories of dangerous people from owning guns, and licensed dealers can easily screen buyers with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).   But the system is easily evaded, especially in so-called "private sales" made at hundreds of gun shows around the country every year.

At all locations investigators identified private sellers that failed integrity tests. An integrity test is the legal standard that private sellers are held to and means, if a private seller "knows" or "has reason to believe" the buyer is in a prohibited category, such as felons and drug abusers, it is illegal to go through with the sale.

The gun seller broke the law by refusing to uphold the integrity tests. They were able to buy a Glock 9mm and three 33-round high-capacity magazines -- just like those used by Jared Loughner in the Tucson Shooting. People like Jared Loughner who was refused entry to the Army because he was mentally unstable or people with criminal backgrounds should not be allowed to buy guns

In the United States not only do we allow mentally unstable people prone to violence buy any type of gun they want, but we also through our loopholes we allow terrorist and drug lord to buy massive amounts of guns.  A study recently revealed that a large portion of the guns used in the Mexican drug wars are coming from the United States.  One cartel bought 700 guns at one single store.

Something must change in order to stop this. Americans actually do support common-sense measures that keep guns out of dangerous hands.

According to a recent poll conducted by Republican and Democratic firms by "Mayors against Illegal Guns:"

* 90 percent of Americans and 90 percent of gun owners support fixing gaps in government databases that are meant to prevent the mentally ill, drug abusers and others from buying guns.

* 91 percent of Americans and 93 percent of gun owners support requiring federal agencies to share information about suspected dangerous persons or terrorists to prevent them from buying guns.

* 89 percent of Americans and 89 percent of gun owners support full funding of the law a unanimous Congress passed and President George W. Bush signed after the Virginia Tech shootings to put more records in the background-check database.

* 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.

Even polling done by Republican pollster Frank Luntz shows a majority of NRA members support similar measures:

* 82 percent of NRA members were in favor of "prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns."

* 69 percent favored "requiring all gun sellers at gun shows to conduct criminal background checks of the people buying guns."

* 78 percent backed "requiring gun owners to alert police if their guns are lost or stolen."

It’s time for Congress to step up and fix these deadly flaws in our gun laws.  The background check system must include all the names of prohibited purchasers, and the loopholes that let criminals evade background checks must be closed immediately.

Originally posted to Mike Elk on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 02:41 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the governor here thinks it's all good. (6+ / 0-)

    of course, she hasn't seen the video, but she doesn't have any problems with private sales to anyone & everyone, because "we're strong people." apparently arizonans are bullet proof or something, so not to worry.

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 03:01:27 PM PST

  •  So is the 2nd amendment right really a right? (0+ / 0-)

    Here is the contradictory nature of the 2nd amendment and its defenders. If the 2nd amendment really guarantee individual's right to bear arms, then how do you justify stripping that right away from people with mental illnesses? We don't take the 1st amendment right away from mentally ill people. Same with drug abusers and people on the terrorist watch list. If it's really a right then everyone should have it. If you are going to start restricting would could have guns (like the great majority of NRA members), then quit calling it a constitutional right.

    Looks like the NRA people want to have their cake and eat it too. They want the 2nd amendment to be a real individual right, but they want to able to deny that right to individuals they don't like.

    •  That's what happens when your ideology (guns are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SadieB

      a sacred right) runs into the real world. Hypocrisy, inconsistency and absurdity becomes the rule of thumb.

    •  asdf (7+ / 0-)

      currently, if you have been involuntarily committed to a mental illness you lose your right to own guns (as well as your right to walk the streets freely.)  

      I believe that Illinois expands it to everyone who seeks any kind of mental health care.  Talk to a qualified counselor, you're done.

      There are some absolutists, but most NRA types are willing to accept this as long as 1) there's a presumption of innocence, 2) it's decided by a judge, not a flunky, and 3) there's some legal mechanism for getting back off the list.

      Candidate Obama was right: When both parties serve the same side in the class war, voters may as well cling to guns and religion. Bitter since 2010.

      by happymisanthropy on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 03:23:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  many rights may be restricted through (17+ / 0-)

      adjudication which imo is  a legal and legitimate method....no different than felon restrictions on voting which I find more odious than felon restrictions on firearms.....

      Though I do think that non violent offenders should have a process to restore gun rights and imo voting right restoration should be automatic upon completion of the sentence......

      my problem and many others problem is prior restraint without adjudication like say the proposal to ban sales to all on the no fly list or the terrorist watch list.....Both lists that have no cks and balances and no easy or even possible way to get your name off the list once on it....and remember that Senator Kennedy was on it at one point.....

      Now if adjudicated a terrorist obviously that's a different thing.

      we need to tighten mental health reporting to the NICS system but we need to balance that with patient privacy and the stigma of mental illness....

      and not go overbroad with the tightening...everyone who at some point suffered from a bout of depression needn't nesc. be prohibited while a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic needs to be period.

      most of the personality disorders shouldn't count but there's a case to be made for NPD, APD and maybe a couple others....again on an individual basis and like with felon restrictions, we need to find a method of appeal or restoration when and if appropriate.....

      So yes, the Second is a fundamental right , as such it must only be infringed through adjudication....

      Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
      I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
      Emiliano Zapata

      by buddabelly on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 03:23:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Given the high incidence of clinical depression (0+ / 0-)

        Just what are we going to do about people who already have existing guns, who become depressed or otherwise mentally ill? Are we going to confiscate their guns now?

        That's why the absolutist view of the 2nd amendment as individual right is simply not going to work. Even the majority of NRA members realize that certain people should not own guns. Yet they insist that they should be eternally entitled to own guns.

        •  Not unless they are adjudicated unfit (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, theatre goon

          or as the law reads "adjudicated mentally defective"

          There is no perfect safety in a free and open society and I value the openness and freedom too much to give it up for perceived safety.....

          Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
          I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
          Emiliano Zapata

          by buddabelly on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 03:49:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So anyone who comes down with depression (0+ / 0-)

            have to be hauled off to a judge and have his guns confiscated? Is this the 'free and open society' that you are envisioning?

            •  Not at all, personally I don't think there's a (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              rockhound, theatre goon

              history of depressives being a danger to others, themselves yes but rarely to others....

              IMO there's nothing to be done at all in that situation.. at least involving the government possibly figure a way to allow release of some info to family so they can store the persons firearms until the situation changes.......Now someone with actual psychotic breaks, yes, the DR. should report and the guns should be confiscated after a Judge hears the case...Maybe even before as long as it still goes before a judge before anything is made permanent....

              No one claimed this was easy or it would be done.....figuring out where that line is is going to be tough and require input from the psychiatric community, the legal community, the courts, the lawmakers........Sometimes the things we hire our legislators for are tough.....

              Vaya con Dios Don Alejo
              I want to die a slave to principles. Not to men.
              Emiliano Zapata

              by buddabelly on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 04:04:33 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  this morning, about five blocks from me (5+ / 0-)

                for reasons not yet clear, a man let off several rounds from a shotgun.

                Other people were in the house with him at the time.

                He is now in jail, on charges of aggravated assault.

                The "victims," according to local news, "were all brought out unharmed" thanks to the good offices of our local PD (yes, we had a SWAT call this morning, in single-digit temps with minus-zero wind chills).

                The names of the persons involved have not been released, but I have a horrible feeling this is going to turn out to have been another brilliant result of our state's "no taxes! No services!" attitude on issues like mental health and domestic violence.

                LBJ & Lady Bird, Sully Sullenberger, Molly Ivins, Barbara Jordan, Ann Richards, Drew Brees: Texas is No Bush League! -7.50,-5.59

                by BlackSheep1 on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 04:18:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Standard fearmongering tactics. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        rockhound, buddabelly, Corwin Weber

        82 percent of NRA members were in favor of "prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns."

        Just because someone is on a terrorist watch list may be something as simple as having a similar name to someone else.  But, if you toss around the word "terrorist," there are a lot of people who will advocate stripping someone else of their rights.

        Unless and until they end up on that terrorist watch list, of course.

        As you point out, rights should only be infringed through adjudication -- not because someone scares someone else.

    •  Uh, yes, actually.... (6+ / 0-)

      ...we do.  If someone is incarcerated whether in prison or in a mental health facility we curtail their rights to free speech, privacy, and assembly among others.  This is entirely acceptable as long as due process is followed.

      •  Where is the due process for mentally ill people? (0+ / 0-)

        If they haven't commited any crimes yet, then where is the due process?

        Are doctors required to report on their patients now? What happens to doctor-patient confidentiality? What about alcoholics and drug addicts? Are the rehabs required to report these people to the police to have them hauled off to court now? That would sure encourage people to go to rehab! Not to mention the terrorist no-fly list. Where is the due process for these people?

        •  If you're considered to be a danger to yourself.. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rockhound, buddabelly, theatre goon

          ...or others, you get committed.  That's a legal process and is a matter of public record.  Alcohol and drug abusers?  If you get pulled over for DWI or busted for possession, again.... legal process.  Public record.  The terrorist watchlist would be a joke if it didn't have such an effect on peoples' lives and should be discarded, but that's an entirely different discussion.

          Your rights in this country can't legally be restricted without due process of law.  This is a well established precedent and has been for as long as we've been a country.

    •  It is really a right. (0+ / 0-)

      And all rights can be removed if an individual abuses them because once an abuse happens (the infringement of the rights of another) the actor in this case has ceded their claim to their rights. That is the entire idea behind why we can arrest individuals, put them in prison, punish them for lying on the stand and all that.  Now of course no rights should be infringed on if there has been no act which infringed on the rights of others.

  •  They did the same undercover deal here in (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, buddabelly

    The Left rejects American Boehnerism.

    by here4tehbeer on Tue Feb 01, 2011 at 03:26:53 PM PST

  •  What the NYPD... (7+ / 0-)

    ...thinks they're doing by sending an investigation into another state, I'm not sure.  Rather out of their jurisdiction, I would think.

    They broke the law as much as did those dealers who allegedly were willing to sell them the guns.

    Don't they realize it's against federal law to attempt to buy a firearm under false pretenses?

  •  another day, another story on shifting sand (7+ / 0-)

    Monday, it was NYPD investigators, 2100 miles west of the limit of their legal jurisdiction.

    Tuesday, it's "private investigators" hired by NYC Mayor Bloomberg (leader of MAIG) who committed the fraudulent purchases.

    I'd hope these "investigators" on either private or public payroll, had the good sense to hand the guns immediately to a BATFE Agent, waiting outside the venue.

    Bloomberg's own NYPD can not enter the sovereign state of New Jersey with high capacity magazines, issued firearms, or privately owned firearms per-virtue of their employment.  They must be "in hot pursuit" of a known or suspected felon, wanted in the commission of a crime.  When told by NJ Authorities to "cease pursuit" they must do so, and return forthwith to NY.

    If that's how your immediate neighbor treats your law enforcement officers, it's no doubt beneficial to travel to Arizona.

    My question to the "good" mayor, is when will you stop the patronage system in NYC? A system aptly named for the Tammany Hall politician who authored it, to ensure a political victory.  The so-called "Sullivan Law".

    Sullivan Act - wikipedia

    A system that gives gun permits to the wealthy whites who live or have a private practice or enterprise in NYC; while depriving the working poor, blacks, asians, and hispanics the right of self-defense within the five boroughs.

    An upper west side dentist who was never a crime victim needs a gun, but a bodega owner who's robbed weekly doesn't.

    Ah yes, one's a willing donor to the right causes... the other is merely a unwilling donor to the predators that plague the working poor.

  •  no offense but shouldn't a governor (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Elmar

    try and govern his OWN state? Bedbugs, snow, trash, violence. Me thinks Bloomberg is trolling for good PR. Not that I disagree with his intent. But it comes across as a very desperate PR move on his part.

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