Background Checks for Guns

Background checks aren’t required in all states for purchasing and owning a gun but, at least in Connecticut, a background check is required for owning a firearm. In a piece in the New Britain Herald detailing increased gun sales in central Connecticut cities and towns like New Britain, Middletown, Berlin, and Newington, the increase of gun sales in the center of the state as resulted in more people filing at their local police department for a pistol permit. As, according to this article, sales have doubled since the election of President Obama, many local police stations have an excess of background checks to do and, in some cases, need to limit the amount of background checks done per day, as in the case of New Britain’s police department.

A background check for a pistol permit in Connecticut isn’t significantly different from one for a renter’s application or for employment. Once the background check comes back clean, a pistol permit is issued. What goes into a pistol permit background check in Connecticut? First, a resident must apply for a permit with the local police department after completing a gun safety course and, with the police department, needs to be finger printed. The background check brings up standard information about a person’s past, including criminal, residential, and employment history, and mental health history is included, as well. If a person is found to have a felony or any other criminal convictions or an extensive history of mental illness, he or she is not issued a permit.

Contrary to many of the comments listed at the bottom of the page regarding Second Amendment rights, a background check for owning a firearm seems like a logical step in making sure a gun doesn’t land in the wrong hands. Unfortunately, although police background checks for firearms in Connecticut can weed out anyone with a criminal history, this only applies to residents in Connecticut who purchase firearms legally, and illegal, or black market, guns can still end up in the possession of someone with a criminal past.