Reader's view: More background checks will reduce gun crime
I would like to respond to the March 7 letter, "Extending background checks won't affect crime," which was from a federally licensed gun dealer from Lakeville, Minn. I am not a federally licensed firearms dealer, but I am a lifelong gun owner, mi...
I would like to respond to the March 7 letter, “Extending background checks won’t affect crime,” which was from a federally licensed gun dealer from Lakeville, Minn. I am not a federally licensed firearms dealer, but I am a lifelong gun owner, military veteran and retired law-enforcement professional. As such, I took strong exception to the background-check statistics the letter cited, particularly the claim that that 94 percent of “stops” (denials) “were actually only delays in a firearm transfer that was then, upon further review, approved.”
I refer to a report from the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, dated October 2010, for the year 2009: Page 10 shows that total firearm background check applications were 10,764,000, and that 150,013 of those were denied. That’s
1.4 percent denied. The percentage of denials for all years going back to 1999 is 1.7 percent. Page 15 shows that 33,118 of those denials were appealed (22 percent) and 12,099 were reversed, or approved (36.5 percent).
My math tells me only 8 percent of the 150,013 denials were later reversed and approved for transfer.
Reports too numerous to mention here are rife with individuals avoiding background checks to purchase firearms and then using them to kill others. Extending background checks to include the Internet, gun shows and other venues will have an impact on crime. I have personal experience buying semi-automatic firearms at gun shows, with no background check required, only cash and a driver’s license. I also know, as do most other gun purchasers, that when buying a gun from a federally licensed dealer the required FBI instant background check is not an inconvenience. The writer of the March 7 letter has to be well aware of this, too.
Coon Rapids, Minn.