They think they have really found something in which they can Do Something
(NY Times) Nearly 80,000 Americans were denied guns in 2010, according to Justice Department data, because they lied or provided inaccurate information about their criminal histories on background-check forms. Yet only 44 of those people were charged with a crime.
The staggeringly low number of prosecutions for people who “lie and try,” as it is called by law enforcement officials, is being studied by the Obama administration as it considers measures to curb gun violence after the Connecticut elementary school shootings in December.
In the face of those difficulties, the White House has said it is looking for actions it can take without Congressional approval. Increasing the number of prosecutions for lying on background-check forms is an effort that the administration can undertake largely on its own, in part by pressing federal prosecutors to pursue such cases. It is also one measure that both sides of the gun-control debate have agreed upon.
It is a felony to deliberately provide false information in an effort to buy a gun, and studies financed by the Justice Department show that people who do so are more likely than the average person to commit violent crimes after they are denied a firearm purchase.
Well, sure, if they broke the law, prosecute them. Is this really going to stop those criminals? What’s being recommended is that those who are serious career criminals that lie be given long jail sentences.
“This is not like looking for a needle in a haystack — these are people you know are too violent to buy a gun,” John Feinblatt, an official with the mayors’ group (Mayors Against Illegal Guns) who met with Mr. Biden on Wednesday, said in a telephone interview. “Once they have been rejected, they go online or to a private seller or a gun show and get a gun.”
Except, if they go online the sellers require that the handgun be sent to a licensed firearms dealer who would require a handgun permit. At gun shows all licensed gun dealers require a……handgun permit. There is no permit necessary to purchase a shotgun or a rifle (even those scary looking ones!).
And, yes, the NRA agrees with prosecuting liars. The NRA has never had a problem with restricting handgun ownership from criminals.
But will this really stop anything? Will this stop all the gun violence and murder on the streets of Chicago? No. Because most criminals aren’t getting their guns legally. They do not care about The Law.
One idea to deal with private purchases is to require that any potential purchaser obtain a handgun permit prior to any purchase, which would be shown to the private seller. That way, the cost of the background check would be on the buyer, not the seller. Interestingly, Carolyn McCarthy’s (D-NY) proposed legislation, H.R. 137, provides a common sense way to deal with this.