We’ve all just heard the news that the U.S. House of representatives have passed a legislation that extends the requirement of universal backgrounds checks for all firearm purchases, including those purchased from private sellers. This was accompanied by a second bill, seeking to extend the three-day review period to a ten-day review period on all background check reports pertaining to purchase of firearms.
Lots of pro-gun people are not happy with the decision, citing the delay as a “violation of their constitutional rights to bear arms” and that the passing of the bill would make “criminals out of law-abiding American citizens”. However, the legislation does outweigh the cons put forward by the pro-gun supporters and may be the solution to the rampant gun violence in America in the past decade.
#1 More Thorough Checks
A longer period allowed for the review of background checks gives authorities ample time to run detailed searches on the particular person. Some buyers may have had criminal history in the past and it might not be recent enough to show up in a quick background check. Also, the FBI would be able to review a person’s past records and be able to piece together the kind of person the applicant may be. If need be, the local authorities will also have enough time to run a stakeout to see if the applicant really is what he claims to be.
#2 Lesser Crimes
A short period of review before being able to purchase a firearm is quite a worrying matter, in that, people who are known to be violent and impulsive may be seeking to purchase a firearm in order to use them on someone that is intimate with them or someone that may have struck them the wrong way. A longer waiting period may naturally dissipate the anger and violent thoughts within the person, significantly reducing cases of family and intimate partner homicide.
#3 Control on Types Of Firearms
A thorough review on an applicant that is looking to purchase firearms will be able to give the federal authorities a good idea of what kind of lifestyle the person may have and the kind of neighborhood that they live in. From this, the feds can gauge the actual need for firearms of that particular person. This way, they would be able to regulate the types of firearms that are being allowed to the public and the suitability of the particular firearm, given their function, location and the particular living conditions of the person.
#4 Lesser Guns In The Black Market
This one is more for a gun seller, rather than a gun purchaser. With a higher accountability, gun purchasers would be less likely to divert their products into the black market for a margin of profit. This, is turn, reduces the availability of black market firearms and increases the prices of those that are. A combination of all these will result in criminals having difficulty getting their hands on firearms to be used and disposed of. It will also reduce cases of interstate gun smuggling.
#5 Addressing Loopholes
There are cases where firearm smugglers and gun criminals have managed to get away with their crimes due to loopholes in the law surrounding firearms purchase and possession caused by short review periods. One such case was that of the church shooting in South Carolina where nine people were shot dead. The firearm was issued to a person after their three-day background check period expired. With much longer background check review periods, the government is able to conduct a thorough and exhaustive background check on a person before they are allowed to possess firearms in public.
With such bills moving quickly through the House and into the Senate, there is hope for the reduction of gun-related crimes and deaths in the U.S. If you’re planning to purchase a firearm and need a quick background check to see if you have reasons to be denied a firearm, a simple people lookup will provide you with your complete history and interactions with the law.