Home | Classifieds | Place an Ad | Public Notices | Subscriber Services | 928 Media Lab | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Obits | Yellow Pages | TV Listings | Contact Us
The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials April 18, 2015


4/3/2013 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: We need to close gun show loophole
The Daily Courier


The U.S. Senate might actually pass legislation that has a chance to reduce gun violence.

Some advocates of stronger gun laws were discouraged recently when the Senate dropped provisions to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines from legislation that will be considered starting next week.

But what remains - a bill that would expand background checks when guns are purchased and stiffen penalties for straw purchases - is perhaps the single measure that could do the most to tamp down the shootings in America's neighborhoods.

Mass shootings with assault weapons are awful when they occur, but over the course of a year far more Americans are killed by handguns, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Look at it this way: virtually all firearms start out as legal, but gaps in our laws allow guns to flow from legal to illegal hands. We need universal background checks, because we need to stop making it easy for criminals to buy guns.

Under the "gun show loophole," no record-keeping is required in private gun sales, which now account for two out of every five firearms transactions, according to the Sun-Times. Plus, a "straw purchaser" - someone with valid credentials who buys guns for those who can't legally purchase them - can easily operate in the nether region where no records exist.

That's a huge loophole, and truckloads of guns are driven right through it - such as with the flawed Fast and Furious operation.

The NRA opposes universal background checks. According to the Associated Press, it helped push through a measure that prohibits the FBI from hanging on for longer than 24 hours to records of those who pass the existing background check system. That makes it hard to spot a pattern of straw purchases.

Waiting for the U.S. Senate to act, though, is not enough. We need to act on the state level, too. Even if the U.S. Senate bill does advance, its prospects are uncertain in the U.S. House. Arizona is among 33 states that have a gun show loophole; you can buy a gun at a gun show and not have to pass a background check. Arizona's HB2381, which would have closed the loophole, died in the state House; in fact, it was not even heard in committees.

Still on the table in Arizona is HB2326, which restricts the ability of political subdivisions to keep records that identify people who own, sell or transfer firearms. It passed out of the House on March 7 and is in the Senate right now.

What remains missing are requirements that gun owners report lost or stolen weapons and something to at least prop up mental health aid and tracking.

We can only pray at this point.




    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Couple arrested after allegedly assaulting cops (5851 views)

•   Freezing temps coming to northern Arizona (4495 views)

•   Marines train in Prescott, PV (2808 views)

•   Voters to decide Prescott's future Aug. 25 (1549 views)

•   What is that I spy east of I-17? BLM acquires more land for monument, prevents development (1488 views)



Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, April 12, 2013
Article comment by: Blood money!!! !!

The U.S. is the largest producer of civilian and military weapons in the WORLD. We are also the only country who would sell the rights to tracking those weapons. In this day and age it is astounding to me that we can not track every gun produced in the past 15 years to a seller. When the mass murders happen in MX and on the border we should be able to identify which shop or re-seller provided the guns. We should be able to track the guns used to murder innocent civilians in other countries too.

There was a time, decades ago when righteousness was the ideal for thet U.S. We just did what was right. I think of the Berlin blockade and our efforts in neutralizing the wrongs being committed.

Not any more. It's just about money. We have sold our soul as a nation. Greed rules. We over throw governments and install regimes so that our companies can make a buck. We sell our own son's lives down the road so that we do not look politically weak. We sell weapons to people who have no reason to have them, just to make a buck.

Is it any surprise that the U.S. has the reputation that it has? This is not about the 2nd amendment. It's about money.

I guess in the end we deserve what we reap.


Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Gunshow loophole goes bye bye. A little progress not much. The NRA applauds, because gun sales will shoot up again lol.

Posted: Thursday, April 11, 2013
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

@An American- So you actually do think that the words are the most important issue here? I get what you are saying, but I disagree with you.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@You have to be kidding!!! !! @ Best way to get guns ever!! !
Actually I do go out a lot, It's just that it's been cold and windy these past couple of days! But today it's beautiful so I will take your advise.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: You have to be kidding!!! !!

Hey Hogan... LOL. Do you know what that means? Who has not heard of the Fast and Furious debacle? You can not tell me that you really believe that the arsenal of weapons held by the cartels are ALL fast and furious guns? No doubts that guns from the Prescott shops have made it to Mexico. No doubts that the gun show loop hole has provided many weapons to the cartels too. But then you just want to blame Holder.

What ever. You are on the comment section alot. you have to get out a little more.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@ Thinking Man
You're welcome, and we probably do have a lot in common. And I thank you for respecting my opinions as I do yours. Great Discussion!!


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@Best way to get guns ever!! !
You can thank Eric Holder, I guess you've never heard of "Fast and Furious'. Not surprising since the news media didn't give it much overage.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Thinking Man

@Stephen Hogan
Even though we disagree on certain points it sounds like we are more alike than not. Thank you for a great discussion.


Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

Let's not hide behind fancy names (Gunshow Loophole, concealed carry, background checks, etc.). Cut to the chase: this is all about the NRA, 100% about the NRA. That entity conrols congress wrt gun laws. I don't know how that came about but it is an undisputable fact. It's kind of scary that an organization like that has control of the majority of our legislators (but they do). It doesn't seem to concern many citizens, even citizens that fear government control of weapons, taxes, whatever. The NRA is in control of guns in this country and their only goal is that there are more. They will do everything and anything that results in more gun and ammo sales with no regard to the safety of anyone. That's the facts Jack and I challenge anyone to dispute that.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: An American

@ Attentive Listener, Finally someone gets to the real issue. If the government trys to restrict or regulate "private sellers" they will be voted out of office, so they approach it from a non- personal "gun show" angle hoping to shift the focus from you to them, it becomes more palitable. I read a tee shirt once that said, "we cheat the other guy, and pass the savings on to you" This is no different, the feds know that most voters like to screw the other guy.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Best way to get guns ever!! !

The Mexico thugs thank you. It's awesome. AZ supplies, the guns, ammo, and addicts. What a market.

Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2013
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

@Phil Whitehead- "Second, anyone who sells a firearm, at a gun show or otherwise, is ENTITLED to sell it to whoever they wish."

You are absolutely incorrect. It is 100% illegal to sell a gun to a prohibited possessor, whether you are a licensed dealer or a private citizen. The only difference is that the private citizen is not required to verify that they are not selling to a prohibited possessor. This would be about like saying that Marijuana is only available with a doctor's prescription, but that only licensed pharmacies are required to check for prescription cards.

You are correct that "Gun Show Loophole" is a misnomer. It should be called "Private Seller Loophole", as private sellers are not required to perform background checks whether they are selling at a gun show or not. Perhaps "gun shows" are emphasized when talking about the loophole because gun shows expose private sellers to markets so large that they can effectively be "dealers" in everything but name, and of course the requirement to be licensed and accountable for their sales.


Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@ Thinking Man
By the way,it is illegal in Arizona for anyone without a valid concealed weapons permit "CWP" to enter any establishment including restaurants that serve alcohol wether they drink or not. "CWP" holders can enter but can not drink, and it's not worth losing the "CWP" and be arrested over a beer. Of course no one can enter an establishment if it is posted "CWP" or not.


Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@ Thinking Man
I agree that guns and alcohol don't mix, as a matter of fact alcohol and vehicles don't mix and I'm sure that more people drink and drive leaving a bar than walk into a bar carrying a firearm, and we do have laws that address those issues, unfortunately some people will violate the law regardless. Personally, I stay out of bars. Sometimes I wonder why bars are allowed to remain open and it seems that excessive alcohol consumption is at the root of many of society's problems, but we tried prohibition and it did not work. I know from living in New York that oppressive gun control measures also don't work, it is very difficult to obtain a concealed weapons permit "CWP" and criminals know that because of this there are very few people that are armed thus making them easy prey. We already have enough laws that address the criminal mis-use of firearms and placing additional restrictions on those of us that use firearms for legitimate purposes are a pointless waste of time and only serve to criminalize a legal activity and constitutional right that some don't believe in. Vermont has for years had "Constitutional Carry" without incident. Don't get me wrong training in the proper use of firearms is great idea, and I strongly advise it.
But I believe in "Constitutional Carry" because we have that right under the "Second Amendment" and once that right becomes a privilege we will lose it once and for all, as it will be subject to the discretion of some bureaucrat or those that believe that the constitution is "A living breathing document". Such is the case in New York, believe me I know, I have a "CWP" from that state and Arizona. An example of this is the "Safe Act" which was just passed in New York which limits magazine capacity to 7 rounds, since pistols have to be registered and now semi-automatic rifles in New York, the government now knows through the permitting process who, until now have legally owned these magazines and are now subject to criminal prosecution if they are not surrendered. Since criminals have not registered their weapons,how will they be affected by this? I also know that those who obtain firearms illegally will never be affected by any additional gun laws, and any individual who is willing to commit a capitol crime will not be deterred by these laws. "Gun Free Zones" have proved this. This has been an interesting conversation!


Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Article comment by: Phil Whitehead

First of all, the term "Gun Show Loophole" is erroneous. The lawful dealers who sell at gun shows must use the FBI background check system to finish a sale, just like they were at their primary establishment. Second, anyone who sells a firearm, at a gun show or otherwise, is ENTITLED to sell it to whoever they wish. It is their property, just as is a car, a piece of furniture, or a pair of shoes. At this point in history, there is NO DIFFERENCE. Private property is still private property.That venue provides an increased number of potential buyers for sure, however, it does make good sense to exchange information when selling a firearm to another for YOUR own protection even though there is no legal requirement to do so. It is your own A$$ you are protecting... So, those of you who bandy this term for political effect, rather than making an effort to actually curb criminals from obtaining firearms are just doing what you do best- absolutely nothing to solve the problem. ...

Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Article comment by: Thinking Man

@Stephen Hogan
I made the original analogy of drunken cowboys to fit into the old west theme of my initial post. The intention was to draw a parallel between Arizona’s lax gun laws and the fast and free gunplay in the old west, not to insult cowboys. I stand by my assertion that a significant number of concealed weapon holders that go into bars drink, even though it is illegal to do so. Notice that I said a significant number of concealed carriers, not most of them as you contend. History has taught us that guns and alcohol do not mix and we need to outlaw the possession of firearms in establishments that serve liquor.
I have no fear of armed, honest people as long as they have the training to safely handle firearms. Under current Arizona law, anyone can go into a gun store purchase a gun and carry it concealed without any further instruction. This misguided law encourages a population of untrained individuals to legally carry weapons that they are not qualified to handle. In any event, I have no problem with concealed permit holders who have undergone a background check and have the proper training. My contention is that Arizona needs to repeal Constitutional Carry and require the proper training for those individuals that wish to carry concealed.


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@ Thinking Man
Okay, so you're not a Liberal, I apologize, but you are making the same arguments that Liberals make regarding gun control, maybe that's how
i should have worded it . You are also assuming that most people that own firearms legally are reckless drunks that do not follow the law, that is a form of bigotry and prejudice no matter how you want to spin it. You also use the term "Cowboy" in a derogatory manner. You also make many assumptions and I quote " When I use the term “cowboys” it is an analogy for an armed individual who goes into a bar or restaurant that serves liquor and becomes inebriated. While not all concealed permit holders do this, human nature being what it is, a significant number likely do.". I suppose that is not being intellectually dishonest to bolster your argument? You obviously have a fear of law abiding people, and I do mean law abiding people to posses and carry firearms. My point is that many people have many fears and in order to placate the few, do we destroy the liberties of the many? For the record, I have undergone firearms training both here and New York and have concealed weapons permits for both states and agree training is a good idea, However, I do not want to see a constitutional right become a privilege to be granted by some bureaucrat who thinks they way you do. This is why I believe in "Constitutional Carry".

@ An American
Nowhere did I compare "Cowboys" to law enforcement officers pretending to be "bikers'. It was "Thinking Man" who uses that term in a derogatory manner. As far as I'm concerned no one should drive to a bar "get tanked up' and then drive home, law enforcement or not. Sometimes I think it would be a good idea to park a police car next to a bar and follow the drunks to their vehicles. But then again who's to police the police?

@ Concealed Carry Killer Stats
I see you got your stats from the Violence Prevention Center, hardly an unbiased source.


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein

TO: Thinking Man, who wrote: "When I use the term 'cowboys'...."

Thanks, Thinking Man. That is exactly the kind of "To The Point, Courteous Response" that I advocate and wish for so passionately.

Debate, and discuss y'all. Don't try to substitute insults, attacks, and sarcasm for a reasoned response! It convinces no one and demeans you.


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: An American

@ Steven Hogan, Please do not degrade "Cowboys" by trying to compare them to law enforcement officers who are pretending to be bikers..

Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Thinking Man

@@Thinking Man
When I use the term “cowboys” it is an analogy for an armed individual who goes into a bar or restaurant that serves liquor and becomes inebriated. While not all concealed permit holders do this, human nature being what it is, a significant number likely do.

As for holding someone responsible for a crime committed in the future, you use the analogy that we shouldn’t allow someone to drive because they may have an accident in the future. The fact is that we enforce speed limits because excessive speed increases the potential for an accident. Thus, Constitutional Carry, like excessive speed, greatly increases the potential for a tragedy.

Once again you use the driving analogy to make a point about liability. I will point out that it is mandatory to have liability insurance on your car before you can drive on a public road. Thus, you are protected (at least somewhat) if you do something that harms another person. If you are carrying a gun, especially with out a permit and training, you are taking on a massive amount of civil liability and it is very unlikely that your insurance will cover you. In addition, you also incur a large amount of criminal liability if you accidentally (due to lack of training) shoot an innocent bystander.

@ Stephen Hogan
We have laws against drunk driving. As for allowing permit holders into establishments that serve liquor, even historical figures such as Wyatt Earp realized that it was a bad idea to mix armed individuals and alcohol (read some of the early history of Tombstone). Mr. Hogan, just for your information, I am not nor ever have been a liberal. I will point out that it is intellectually dishonest to bolster your argument by labeling me as such.


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Concealed Carry Killer Stats

"Currently, Concealed Carry Killers documents 377 incidents in 32 states resulting in 508 deaths. In nearly 80 percent of the incidents (300) the concealed carry killer has already been convicted (126), committed suicide (167), or was killed in the incident (seven). Of the 67 cases still pending, the vast majority (55) of concealed carry killers have been charged with criminal homicide, four were deemed incompetent to stand trial, and eight incidents are still under investigation. An additional 10 incidents were fatal unintentional shootings involving the gun of the concealed handgun permit holder. At least 14 of the victims were law enforcement officers. Twenty-three of the incidents were mass shootings, resulting in the deaths of 103 victims."

"No comprehensive data exists on non-self defense killings by private citizens legally allowed to carry concealed handguns. Concealed Carry Killers offers examples from May 2007 to the present of such incidents, which are taken from news reports and the limited state data available. These examples are only an unknown fraction of the unreported number of similar incidents that routinely occur across the nation."

http://www.vpc.org/ccwkillers.htm


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@ Thinking Man
"In addition, in Arizona, a concealed weapons permit holder can actually carry a weapon into a bar. It is of course against the law for such a person to consume alcohol while armed, but how often do you think this part of the law gets obeyed? So now Arizona is just like the old west. The cowboys can get tanked up at the bar and then go out and shoot up the town." Yet a drunken "cowboy" can get tanked up at the bar get into his car and kill someone, are you okay with that? I haven't heard you crusading against that. There is no reason to go to a bar except to drink, but there are many restaurants that serve alcohol, why shouldn't a concealed weapons holder not be allowed to enter that establishment providing they don't drink? You are assuming that those that are concealed weapons permit holders are irresponsible, and lawless criminals. I thought that Liberals were opposed to bigotry and the pre-judgement of others of whom they dis-agree? I guess for a "Thinking Man" you have not given much thought to this.


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein

TO: @ Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein, who asked, "Did any of the shooting you listed involve law abiding ccw holders?"

Don't know, the newspaper articles didn't say. The point was in response to your question about "How many Cowboys....."

TO: @ Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein, who asked: "Also if you tell me that 90,000 die from medical mistakes and 30,000 die from guns then why should we be pursuing stricter gun laws when clearly DOCTORS KILL MORE. Shouldn't we be taking a look at medical practices? how about making laws that protect people from doctors since more die from them?"

Because 30,000 is not a small number. And, we are working on rules, methods, procedures, etc. to reduce medical mistakes, not all of which are made by doctors.

TO: @ Hobbes2 aka Sam Brunstein, who asked: "And while your doing your research and correcting me why don't you go ahead and tell me how many of those 30,000 are killed by police, and how many of those are gang related. And when you get those numbers worked out how about letting me know how many ccw holders and law abiding citizens are on that list."

Bedcause you aren't worth the trouble.

You simply want to argue without presenting any reasonable points or trying to reach any conclusions. Why don't you look it up. The numbers are out there. Most of them in the FBI reports that are available online. Then you can spout them back at me for whatever ridiculous case you may be trying to make.

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
--Mark Twain


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: Stephen Hogan

@Thinking Man
"So far there have been very few instances of people being injured or killed by untrained individuals carrying concealed weapons, but this misguided law (Constitutional Carry) represents a huge potential for catastrophe." So what do we do punish people for acts that might happen? As long as people are free to walk the streets or drive a car or for that matter living within ones own home there is always the potential for violence, gun or no gun. Anything can happen in the future so what's the answer, incarcerate everyone? Hell, we don't need a reason, suspicion is enough. Do we give up all of our liberties to calm the fears of a paranoid few? If I'm afraid of the dark do we require that everyone leave all their lights on? If I'm afraid to cross the street should everyone be required to give up driving? If I'm afraid of drowning should everyone have to give up water sports? What about flying? Do you see where I'm going with this?


Posted: Sunday, April 07, 2013
Article comment by: DragonMaster 6

@ "Editorial: We need to close gun show loophole! That's a huge loophole, and truckloads of guns are driven right through it - such as with the flawed Fast and Furious operation."
We could not believe you would use this as an example for your argument as this was indeed a politically created screw up and had nothing to do with the Gun-Show-Loophole! Your argument changes no-ones mind on either side of the table!



  - Page 1 -  Page 2



Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   


Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you



Quick Links
 •  Submit site feedback or questions

 •  Submit your milestone notice

 •  Submit your letter to the editor

 •  Submit a news tip or story idea

 •  Place a classified ad online now

 •  Browse the Yellow Pages

Find It Features Blogs Milestones Extras Submit Other Publications Links
Classifieds | Subscriber Services | Real Estate Search | Galleries | Find Prescott Jobs | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Contact Us
© Copyright 2015 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Daily Courier is the information source for Prescott area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Prescott Newspapers Online is a service of Prescott Newspapers Inc. By using the Site, dcourier.com ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Prescott Newspapers Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info, Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2015 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved