Monday, April 29, 2013

Stop the Senseless Pretense That BGCs Stop Criminals

"One difficulty with that argument: As Cook and Ludwig note, most people who use guns to commit crimes—including almost all mass shooters—could have passed a background check. But what about the rest? Would they be thwarted by a broader screening requirement?

"Probably not. Forcing private sellers at gun shows to arrange background checks with the help of licensed dealers is relatively straightforward. But in that 2004 inmate survey, less than 2 percent of respondents said they had bought weapons at gun shows or flea markets.

"Three sources accounted for almost nine out of 10 crime guns: "friends or family" (40 percent), "the street" (38 percent), and theft (10 percent). It is hard to see how any notional background check requirement, even one applying to all private transfers, can reasonably be expected to have a significant impact on these sources. As usual with gun control, the attempt to enforce such a requirement would impose costs and uncertain legal risks on law-abiding gun owners while leaving criminals free to go about their business."

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