What’s The Connection Between ‘Weak’ Gun Laws And Gun Violence? I’m Not Sure.

Now that the Trump Administration has made it clear that creating new gun regulations is hardly a national priority, I’d like to recommend to my friends in the gun violence prevention (GVP) community that perhaps they would step back and rethink the issue of the alleged connection between federal gun laws and gun violence; i.e., the belief that fewer federal gun laws leads to more criminal and accidental misuse of guns.

traffic             I’m not saying that we should do away with laws which regulate the purchase, ownership and use of guns.  I’m saying that GVP needs to be a little more sensitive to the assumption that more federal guns laws equals less gun violence because at the federal level we aren’t about to see any more laws. And what the GVP community needs to do most of all is stop assuming that just because a bunch of guns from one state end up getting sold to bad guys in another state, that this means the way to fix the problem is to pass new federal laws.

Here’s a fer-instance:  The Brooklyn DA announces that he is charging 24 putzes, most of whom are Blood members, with trafficking 217 guns into Kings County, including 41 assault weapons, and selling them on the street.  The weapons, according to the DA, were ‘purchased’ in Virginia and his indictment ‘highlighted the need for federal gun control to help stem the flow of thousands of illegal guns from the South.’  And what was the evidence produced to show that these jerkoff gun sellers were exploiting (as one media report called it) the ‘weak’ gun laws in Virginia?  It was a wiretap comment made by one of the jerkoffs named Antwan Walker (a.k.a. Twan) that he could go into any gun store in Virginia and buy as many guns as he could put into a car and take up to New York.

Now let’s assume for the sake of argument that my man Twan was actually telling the truth, even though the chances that he has ever told the truth about anything is probably about as great as the chances that we will ever hear a truthful statement from #45. But the point is that if Twan could go into a licensed gun dealer and buy even one gun, he had to be able to pass a NICS background check, which means he had to have a clean record or else he would not have been able to walk out of the store with the gun.

Guess what?  The gun law which allowed our the gun-trafficking expert Twan to go into a shop and buy 50 guns and take them up to New York was the exact, same federal law which would have regulated the sale of those guns to Twan in whatever state he happened to live. So the idea that all those Southern guns are coming up to New York because Southern states have ‘weak’ gun laws isn’t necessarily true.

Now someone might say but Mike, isn’t it easier to buy guns in Virginia because that state doesn’t require background checks for secondary (i.e., non-dealer) sales? Which happens to be the case in 39 other states besides Virginia, but our young gun trafficker (a.k.a. Twan) didn’t say anything over the phone about getting guns through private sales.  Know why? Because Twan and everybody else who wants to move guns from gun-rich states like Virginia to gun-poor cities like Big Apple doesn’t have to pay for the merchandise at all. They just have to walk down any residential street, break into a private home and I guarantee you they’ll find plenty of guns to steal.

With reliable estimates of between 200,000 and 400,000 handguns stolen each year, why does the GVP community sit around bemoaning the fact that there are so many ‘straw’ sales? I’m totally in favor of extending background checks to secondary sales BTW; I just don’t think it has much to do with how those guns end up on Brooklyn streets, no matter what Twan was heard to say.

 

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4 thoughts on “What’s The Connection Between ‘Weak’ Gun Laws And Gun Violence? I’m Not Sure.

  1. We have been having a jolly old time with the NRA doing battle with Everytown out here and the net result will be a very high smoke and mirrors to real light ratio.

    I had an email conversation with the Albuquerque Chief of Police a few weeks ago when the Battle of Secondary Market Background Checks was starting up. He told me his point of view, i.e., that most of the crime guns recovered by APD were stolen and they had recently had two major thefts of guns from poorly secured gun stores.

    With home and car burglaries in New Mexico just about leading the nation, my suggestion has always been to give a nice fat tax credit to anyone who buys a robust gun safe, just as we get a nice tax credit for putting a bunch of solar panels on the roof. As it happens, I purchased both this last year.

  2. There are some straight-forwards examples of weak gun laws.

    “They just have to walk down any residential street, break into a private home and I guarantee you they’ll find plenty of guns to steal.”

    Under UK law, one of the licensing conditions is that a well-installed gun locker is provided, and used. Before a license is issued, the police officer will try to pull the locker off the wall with their hands. If they succeed,no license is issued until the fault is fixed. The gun locker cannot be attached to an external wall, and it is a criminal offence for anyone other than the gun owner to have access to the key.

    “But the point is that if Twan could go into a licensed gun dealer and buy even one gun, he had to be able to pass a NICS background check, which means he had to have a clean record or else he would not have been able to walk out of the store with the gun.”

    In the UK, Twan would have to pass a police interview. As Dunblane showed, the police interview is much tougher than a background check. If the police had stuck to the police interview, instead of improvising a background check, his paedophile activities would not have cost the lives of those children.

  3. One does have to ask whether it should send up a red flag if someone actually bought fifty guns. Unless, of course, it was the regional scout leader equipping the local scout troop for their firearms merit badge. In which case I suspect it would be fifty .22 LR bolt action rifles…

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