After a mass shooting, such as those in Sandy Hook, Conn. and Aurora, Colo., in 2012, gun sales often surge. The only exception appears to be in the states where the shootings occurred. Along with increased gun sales are background checks, which are federally mandated for firearm dealers. Nevertheless, gun sales occur beyond this stage: at gun shows and privately, for instance. Background checks, however, are seldom common in these instances and are regulated at the state level.
Aurora, Colo. Representative Rhonda Fields is pushing such legislation in her state. While Colorado is one of the states requiring criminal background checks at gun shows, private firearm sales are not regulated and managed as such. The bills Fields supports would require background checks for private gun sales and would limit magazine clips to only 50 to 100 rounds.
As the Huffington Post points out, these secondary sales methods create an “invisible” market, one allowing minors, former criminals, and mentally ill individuals to purchase firearms. Additionally, a large percentage of Americans, according to a recent poll by the publication, are pushing for better gun control legislation. As we mentioned in 2011, undercover police went to a New York gun show to purchase semi-automatic rifles while being open about their criminal history and were never even screened by the sellers.
In the wake of Sandy Hook and Aurora, as well as other large-scale shooting incidents like Virginia Tech and Tucson, are better gun control laws, on a federal level, needed? Should better background checks be part of that?
Firearms background checks surged in 2011, after the shooting in Tucson, and the time, legislation like the Fix Gun Check Act was proposed but eventually dissipated. The Fix Gun Checks Act, if you don’t recall, involved including mental health history in a firearms background check.
- Biden says consensus emerging on gun safety (news.yahoo.com)
- Colorado Legislature to Consider “14 to 20″ Gun Control Bills (thetruthaboutguns.com)
- E.J. DIONNE: Sensible gun laws needs bipartisanship (tauntongazette.com)