An article published in the Sunday Minneapolis Star Tribune reveals the problems with background checks as they are today. Here's the link to the article: Murderous 'monster' acquires an arsenal of 13 guns in Delano
A summary of main problems the article identifies in the current system of background checks under the fold.
1. Not all guns in Minnesota require a background check. Long rifles do not. Neither do shotguns, which according to the article is what Christian Oberender killed his mother with is 1995.
2. Background checks right now only check for things that would strike one from buying a gun. The article also points out that the man in the article, Christian Oberender, was able to circumvent the checks by transposing his name on applications. Background checks also need to verify identity, which does not happen in Minnesota.
3. Civil commitments for mental health need to be classified differently. According to the article, civil commitments for mental health cannot be reported to BCA without permission of the patient. I understand the issues regarding privacy, but Oberender was committed after he had shot his mother. There seems to be a need to allow the Mental Health organizations to be able to report commitment to the state without patient permission in the cases of people who were committed for being violent, especially violent with guns.
4.Background checks are only as good as the information provided to them. It's important that the organizations responsible for juvenile justice, criminal justice in general, and mental health commitment send records to the BCA so that proper background checks on gun permit applications can be checked.
5. There are more loopholes than the gun show loophole. When Oberender killed his mother in 1995, that apparently predated digital fingerprints which would go into a main database. Confessing my lack of thorough knowledge in this area, but is there a way to get fingerprints in that were not digital? That's an awfully big bunch of people who should possibly not have guns because they were felons; their fingerprints should be checkable too.
I will concede that I am not an expert on background checks or gun law, and I am not using this case to argue, as many are, that we don't need more gun laws. What this case clearly shows, however, is that the current background system is flawed and needs to be fixed. That may mean further inconveniences for gun purchasers--fingerprinting, e.g., or providing a social security number-- but if the result is that people like Oberender are flagged and cannot get guns, then society is better off.