Mandatory Background Checks and Restricted Private Sales in Store for Florida Gun Owners

By: - January 2, 2019

How do you get mandatory background checks on all firearms sales, including private sales, without passing a background check law? You regulate the sales themselves. But like many firearms-related proposed gun laws, this has nothing to do with reducing crime or saving lives. It is simply an emotionally-driven do-nothing law that will cost law-abiding citizens (they are the only ones that will follow it) money they should not have to spend.

Here is something I want you to think about while reading this article: What percentage of criminals who used firearms in crimes got their guns from private sales, to include gun shows? I will answer that later on here.

After the Parkland high school murders there was an outcry for “more gun control” from many groups. Even though the murderer in that case was already illegally possessing and using the firearm in a prohibited place and committing murder. A push for more laws, new laws, was heard nationwide. This is called an emotional response to a non-existent problem. That’s right: looking to pass laws that would have zero effect on a mass murderer is basically doing something just to say they did something. So in Florida they raised the age for anyone to buy a long gun (rifle or shotgun) from 18 to 21. They banned bump-stocks (documented to have been used in one crime nationwide), created a “red flag” law to remove guns from citizens who have been accused of mental illness, and on a positive note, they created armed school safety officers.

Now even after doing all that, State Representative Margaret Good (D – Sarasota) submitted on December 21, 2018 a Bill (HB 135) in Florida that is described on the Florida House website: “Requires transfers of firearms when neither party is licensed dealer to be conducted through licensed dealer & requires processing by licensed dealer.” This bill wants to require any sale of a firearm to go through a federally licensed firearms dealer, requiring a background check processing, and a fee on top of the cost of the firearm itself. Anyone who would violate this would be committing a felony. So just exactly what problem does this address? What criminals are they trying to target by making all sales of firearms, even private ones, go through a firearms dealer and requiring a fee?

Back to my statement earlier that I wanted you to think about while reading this: “What percentage of criminals who used firearms in crimes got their guns from private sales, to include gun shows?”

Well, following is the answer: “The Bureau of Justice Statistics Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Correctional Facilities, 1997-2004” found that 0.8% (that’s less than one percent) of criminals bought their firearms at a gun show. Also they found that about 12 percent bought or traded for the firearm with a family member or friend. Just how would this new proposed law stop that from happening? Who in their right mind thinks for one minute that a criminal that wants to acquire a firearm will go through any kind of sale that requires a background check? Anyone that thinks that is just kidding themselves. What that same survey found was that in over 77 percent of the cases, the criminals obtained their firearms illegally anyway. And this new law is supposed to stop that?

This is the problem with the “gun sense” or “gun control now” movements. They continually try and pass more and more laws restricting the rights of law-abiding citizens to purchase, possess and carry firearms, since they are the only ones that will follow any new laws. As the name implies, criminals do not follow laws. We outlawed many drugs and see just how well that has stopped the illegal drug trade. Right?

I alluded earlier that the firearms crisis is not really a crisis. Many who have been fed the sensationalized headlines of the anti-right mainstream media will become apoplectic at this statement. But all one has to do is look at the facts (numbers) to see it. According to the FBI’s annual report “2017 Crime in the United States,” murders with a firearm declined 1.4 percent from 2016 to 2017. This includes a 2.4 percent decrease in murders using a handgun. The NRA-ILA ran the numbers and found, “Murders involving a rifle of any kind increased 6.6% due to the horrific attacks in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs. Outside of those two attacks, the number of rifle murders decreased 15.9%. The number of people killed with their attacker’s fists, hands, or feet increased 4%. There were 696 people killed in such a manner – more than 72% more than killed with a rifle of any kind.” Yes, you read that correctly: more people are killed by hands and feet than by rifles in any given year. Looking over a preliminary study of 2018 crime numbers from police departments in the 30 largest U.S. cities projected the 2018 murder rate to be 7.6 percent lower than the 2017 rate. That’s right: down not up. You would never believe that, given the way the news media feeds the hysteria nationally.

What about other violent crimes where guns may be used? Robbery decreased from 332,797 in 2016 to 319,356 in 2017. Down 4 percent overall. Robberies that used a firearm were down 5.4 percent.

So just what are these background checks, gun storage, sales, age restrictions, banning of certain firearms supposed to accomplish? Murder and firearms victimizations are already much lower than 25 years ago, by >45 percent, in the number of murders nationwide. We already have over 30,000 gun laws on the books, not to mention laws against firearms being on school grounds and federal laws against certain people possessing firearms. And of course, lest we forget that murder is already illegal and carries some of the stiffest penalties in the nation (as it should).

So I challenge anyone that supports more gun laws or restrictions on citizens possessing firearms. Please explain in simple language just how any of these new laws will stop a murderer bent on killing someone. Taking away guns will not work; they will just get them on the black market and remove the ability of law-abiding citizens from being able to defend themselves from these criminals. I contend that any more restrictions on firearms ownership and possession will only result in more victims. Why and how you ask? Because you will be removing the firearms from those that follow the law, not break it, making them unarmed helpless victims to those who care less what laws you make.

So what should we do? I say allow law-abiding citizens to carry lawful firearms at places that are now designated “gun-free zones” since they really are only “law-abiding citizen self-defense restricted areas” now anyway. Murderers call these areas “target-rich” environments. We have seen how well those areas stop attacks and murderers. Stop putting more restrictions on those who follow the law. Enhance penalties on crimes already on the books regarding offenses committed with a firearm. Maybe actually prosecute those who break the federal firearms laws already on the books. Better mental health treatment and evaluation for those that need it. Hold people responsible for their actions, including kids and young adults. Hold criminals accountable. Hold parents responsible for their kids.

Enough is enough. Stop blaming things that have no bearing on the results. Freedom is not pretty or safe. It’s actually not supposed to be, it’s supposed to make you appreciate when you have it, and yearn for it when you don’t.

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