Why ‘Universal Background Checks’ Won’t Work

Criminals will not participate in them, and the mentally ill will not be included.
By Wayne LaPierre

Wayne LaPierre
NRA’s Wayne LaPierre

FAIRFAX, Va. --(Ammoland.com)-  It seems so reasonable. In the minds of many, “universal background checks” for firearms transactions sounds like a good idea.

But is it really? No.

No idea is good if it doesn’t work. No legislation is reasonable if it fails to accomplish its purported goal — to prevent violent criminals and the mentally ill from acquiring firearms.

OUR VIEW: Enact universal background checks

Criminals won’t participate in a “universal” system. They’ll always steal or get their guns, and everything else they want, on the black market. Reasonable people know that criminals will never be part of the “universe.”

Even when felons do try to buy a gun and are flagged by the system, they’re almost never stopped. In 2010, out of 76,000 denied purchasers, only 44 were prosecuted nationwide for illegally attempting to purchase a gun.

That universal failure endangers us all.

The mentally ill won’t be included in the system. For the past 20 years, government has failed to include records even for those who have been judged mentally ill by a court.

It’s unreasonable to assume that the federal government will require medical professionals — who treat those suffering from autism, schizophrenia, anger management issues and more — to add records of their patients to a massive federal database.

Imagine the outcry over privacy rights! Those records will never be part of the “universe.”

The only “universe” will be law-abiding, sane, decent, non-threatening Americans who have already participated in the check system for two decades now. It will be the names of good people — and only their names — that will go into a database, subjected to potential federal registration and abuse of privacy.

No, there is nothing at all “universal” about the proposed background check — and nothing reasonable about legislation that doesn’t include criminals and the mentally disturbed in its “universe.”

The nearly 5 million members of the NRA support what would make us all safer: the immediate protection of all of our schoolchildren, fixing our broken mental health system, and certain prosecution of every criminal with a gun.

Those are good ideas that thoughtful Americans, responsible members of Congress and law-abiding gun owners can support.

Wayne LaPierre is executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Rifle Association of America.

About:
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military. Visit: www.nra.org

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