Expanded Background Checks Fail in the Senate - The Myth of the "Gun Show Loophole" lives on
The U.S. Senate stood on the side of liberty today as it killed two measures aimed at restricting the rights of law-abiding private citizens. In a vote of 54-46, the Senate rejected the expansion of background checks to include sales between private citizens, thus keeping the so called "Gun Show Loophole" alive for now. Sen. Dianne Feinstein could not even rally a simple majority vote in her attempt to restrict law-abiding citizens from owning weapons she feels are objectionable. Her bill failed by an embarrassing margin of 40-60. Both of these represent huge defeats to the Obama Administration.
Democrats wanted to expand the requirement from background checks to include sales between individual citizens of their personally owned firearms. Currently, any sales at a gun show from a dealer to an individual require background checks while private sales (one individual to another) do not require background checks. This is the same law that allows you to sell a gun in your home as a private citizen without a license. It is, however, illegal for a private citizen to sell a gun to someone they know, or they reasonably should know, is a convicted felon or a person otherwise ineligible to own a firearm.
Chart of guns used in Sandy Hook Shooting - Feinstein's bill would not have prevented a single one of these from ending up in the shooter's hands.
There are some areas where the ATF could tighten the reigns without changing the law. Current law requires an individual to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL) if that individual is regularly in the business of buying and selling guns for a profit. There are probably many cases where people are doing this at gun shows and are skirting the law. Earlier this year, a man in Fort Worth was convicted of selling over 130 guns in a fourteen month period in his store in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. He claimed he was selling guns from his "private collection" but the jury apparently thought otherwise. The line on where you are just selling your private collection and where you are, or should be, a licensed dealer is not very clear, but could be more aggressively enforced. But like most existing gun laws, they do little good at deterring crime because they are not routinely enforced.
None of these proposed new gun control laws would have prevented the Newtown school shooting or any of the other mass casualty shootings the Democrats claimed they were trying to prevent with these laws. No one would have been safer had they passed. They were further attempts at "feel-good legislation" Democrats are so fond of. You know, the kinds of laws that let them tell you they care about the problem without actually fixing anything.
The bombings in Boston this week proved, once again, that a crazy person, filled with evil intent, will find a way to kill people if that is what they want to do. No amount of Homeland Security would have prevented those bombs from going off and causing their destruction. Likewise, limiting the rights of law abiding citizens would not and will not stop criminals from obtaining guns and using them for unlawful purposes. They are, after all... CRIMINALS!
So, for now, liberty is a little safer. The gun control debate appears to be all but dead at this point, and President Obama is once again left with egg on his face after an embarrassing defeat. But was it really a defeat, or merely a distraction? You now have to wonder... What is President Obama going to use now to distract the public from its disasters like Benghazi, the murder of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Fast and Furious, jobs, the economy, runaway spending and all those other things he doesn't want you thinking about? After shamelessly using the families of the Sandy Hook families as props, perhaps now he can get victims of the Boston bombings to come forward as he pushes for pressure cooker registration...