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Today's Poll: Should criminal background checks be required for private gun sales?

Dave Olsen
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No, the government is already sticking it's nose too far up people's butts. This busybody, authoritative, we know what's better for you than you do, governing by emotion has to stop. It's un-American. I thought we are the Land of the Free. Boy was I mistaken.

Doug Yeomans
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If I want to sell a gun to someone else, I would like the ability to verify that the buyer is not prohibited from owning a firearm. Something should be in place for private gun sales. In no way would I ever want to be responsible for selling a firearm to someone that should not have one.

Doug Yeomans
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Dave, if private gun sales shouldn't require a background check, why should a check be required for people buying from a licensed dealer?

Doug Yeomans
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I want less government intrusion, but I believe in responsible firearm ownership. Part of the deal of owning a gun is to not allow my guns to land in the wrong hands.

Raymond Richardson
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Doug,

I agree 100% with all you've said.

Dave Olsen
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It shouldn't.

Dave Olsen
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A firearm is a piece of personal property, period. It is noone's place to decide who gets to own what. If someone starts acting irresponsibly and threatens another's safety somehow, then there is when the government can step in though the police. The person can be fined, made to pay restitution for damages or punished if bodily harm has happened. The government or anyone else still does not have the right to say whether or not that person can purchase or own firearms. Remove all the government regulations, so it's easier to purchase firearms, competition will bring the prices down, more folks will have them, less problems with guns. Very simple.

Mark Brudz
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"governing by emotion has to stop. It's un-American"

That is probably the most profoundly true thing I have ever seen you post.

Dave Olsen
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The only true reason the state wants to do this, is so they have a record of the transaction and can tax you for it, Doug.

Dave Olsen
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Thank you, Mark. If you put a thousand monkeys on a thousand typewriters, sooner or later one will type a reasonable sentence.

Scott Washburn
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When you sell a car to a buyer, do you check to see if they have a valid license?

Dave Olsen
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An Armed Society is a Polite Society.

How's that for a bumper sticker? Maybe I'll take your previous advice and start a business and see how many of those I can sell. (smiley face icon here)

Bernie Fix
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Why are violent felons let out of jail?

Scott Washburn
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100% agreed Mr. Fix. That should be the real debate. A grandfather goes to give his grandson a Shotgun. Doesn't perform a background check. Now both are felons?!?!?!? really. And the only way to enforce this law is gun registration. Now for the law abiding people who follow this law, how much are they going to get charged? Where is the money going to go? Is this really going to save lives. Nope. Not in my books.

Jerry Buckman
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"governing by emotion has to stop. It's un-American"

Dave, I agree with and enjoy most of your comments. But you should know that your comments are among the most emotional on this site. I appreciate that because those without emotion rarely care (in my experience). I believe you care. Emotional elected leaders usually care, too.

But...your periodic declarations of what is "un-American" kind of chaffs at me. It used to be "American" to own slaves and keep women barefoot and pregnant.

Even if you and I disagree on something, I guarantee that I'm an American as much as you.

That said, as far as this thread goes, I'm with Doug and Howard.

Dave Olsen
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Thank you ( I think) Jerry.
People, you and I, are emotional, it's a human trait. Laws and government decisions should not be. They should be based on logic, not fear or hate or revenge. These stupid new gun laws are based on the fear of someone shooting someone else.
I'm pretty sure that's the first time I ever called something un-American on here, so I don't know what periodic declarations you are referring to. It was never right to own slaves or deny women the right to vote, own property etc. That has been corrected through constitutional amendments. We're not nor ever have been perfect, but we do have a process to evolve as a nation, if we would just follow it. Logically
I would never question you or anyone calling themselves American. Disagreement and debate is one of the beauties of being an American.

Eric [Rick] von k...
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I completely agree with a backround ck for private sales. What has not been answered is, after the backround check are we required to list the gun sold, serial number etc, and turn it in to whoever? If this is the case,i will draw my line in the sand! This is no ones business what i sell, if its not a pistol.

Bernie Fix
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No, let them out to kill first responder and then put them back in with out no parole

Dave Olsen
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By the Way, the VA actually got it right:
http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/VA-defies-gun-statute-4345774.php

tom hunt
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Life long felonious criminals will not comply with back ground checks as they know they would fail. They buy and will continue to buy on the street corner or have another person purchase weapons for them. Case in point; the recent shooting in Webster of two first responders. The right to purchase and bear arms is American as apple pie and should not be infringed upon.

Mark Brudz
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Just a little break from the serious side

Some Government Gun Advice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzEd6MNihlg&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Jeff Allen
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The other logic disconnect in gun legislation is the idea that a person who has crossed the threshold of acting on violent thoughts will suddenly be snapped back to reason when confronted with the notion that they are breaking the law in either obtaining a firearm and/or using it.

Phil Ricci
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Hmmmm. I see both sides of this debate. While I respect Dave's position, and agree with his stance that government needs to stop over stepping. I will challenge this position with this one major principle.

Personal Responsibility.

While I do not feel that the government should mandate another thing in our lives, I feel that selling a weapon to an unknown party is vastly different than say, selling a vehicle. My rationale is rather simplistic. A vehicle's primary purpose is that of transportation. If someone misuses that, it can not be the seller's responsibility. More so, it is not illegal to purchase a car if say, your driver's license is revoked, so again, the seller is not in anyway liable.

A weapon's primary purpose is to kill and destroy. It serves no other purpose. Even if you use it to target shoot, its primary role is to destroy. I do not believe that the government needs to mandate you to get a background check done, but if you sell your PERSONAL property to someone is not allowed to own a weapon (a convicted felon let's say), then I think the onus of responsibility is on you. If you feel no responsibility to make sure that you are selling a weapon to someone who has violated laws (specifically violent laws), then I don't think you're a responsible gun owner.

Sorry, you can't claim, personal freedom, without taking personal responsibility.

That's my take.

Peter O'Brien
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"'Why are violent felons let out of jail?'
How much higher do you want your taxes to go?"

We can fix that by legalizing drugs.

Peter O'Brien
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Phil,
You wrote "Sorry, you can't claim, personal freedom, without taking personal responsibility."

Then how about a system that can be accessed by the general public but is optional to use in gun sales.

Best of both worlds. You can look up the history of who you are selling to and if you don't believe that's something the government should be involved in you don't have to use it.

The background checks are there simply to take more money, create more government jobs, and track firearms for future confiscation. Its a liberal's dream system.

We are on the slippery slope to repeal of the 2nd amendment. Someone needs an ice climbing hammer to stop this descent into madness and start climbing back up towards freedom and personal security.

Frank Bartholomew
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I think a background check should be in order for the purchase of alcohol. It kills as many as guns do..lol
With over 20,000 pieces of gun control legislation, I can't for the life of me see how this would make any difference.

Scott Blossom
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Actually Frank, I think alcohol has claimed more lives than guns. That is if one blames the alcohol instaed of the one drinking it.

This whole issue is a slippery slope for me. I am dead set against government intrusion and firmly hold to our constition. But by the same token, private sales of firearms are one source that criminals can use to obtain firearms.

I knew a federal marshall when I was in Virginia during my Navy years. This was his view back in 1993.

The passing down of firearms (hand guns excepted because of the permit laws for them) in the family should not be infringed upon. But sales to an unknown should have checks done. As a responcible American would never be able to sleep at night if the firearm they sold was used in a crime. But this is how it should be done.

Take your firearm to licenced firearm dealer as a consignment. You have your selling price for the item, the dealer can get what hey think they can for it and keep the difference or have a percentage of the sale or whatever, that would be between you and the dealer. The dealer has the criminal background check performed on the buyer just as new sale would be done.

But here is his kicker, the background checks have no business having a fee! As they are a computer database records check, (even more so today), it is virualy automated. So no fee should be applied. (side note, he felt the same way on the background checks for handguns also). He wasn't that keen of logging serial numbers for non-handguns as he felt that was too much intrusion. Just the criminal check.

That helps give piece of mind to the seller. Now he wasn't a fool and he knows people with clean records will buy for those who don't. But, it would hamper at least one avenue.

Not bad for a federal marshall. I found him to be a good man and proud American. And he knew no solution was perfect, this was his take.

I myself could agree to his idea, but as I say this issue is a slippery slope. Just interested on how others would feel on his take.

Scott Blossom
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On a side note, almost all of the firearm stores and pawn shops liked the idea. Only a couple didn't.

Frank Bartholomew
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Scott, blame won't bring back a family killed by a drunk driver, but I do understand what you're sayin.
Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
Background checks will only keep honest people honest, criminals however, can and will obtain illegal
firearms regardless of any legislation aimed at stopping them.
Do liquor store clerks, bartenders, or venders of alcoholic beverages care what happens after sale , I don't think so.

Phil Ricci
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Peter,

A system like that would be fine. I believe that everything should be a choice by a private citizen, and not mandated. I also believe though if you're not willing to take the responsibility to make sure that you are not putting a weapon into a known criminal's hand, then you should have liability. That is not imposing my or government's will.

You can choose not to do anything, but if your lack of personal responsibility puts others in danger, then you have no understanding of what the right to freedom is.

I do agree that this government wants to limit the 2nd Amendment, and I think that's on both sides of the aisle.

Scott Blossom
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Blame was not my point, just the tool used in the causing of deaths.

Did you read that even the marsall said its not an end all solution? This was an idea against one avenue only.

As I said, this was his take back in 1993. I dont need a rehash of old arguments and talking points.

And I bet you just hacked off a few bartenders. You bet your ass they care. Are you aware that a bartender that knowingly serves an intoxicated person can be charged with a crime? I had the training and used to tend bar. And that tidbit of law came from the sheriff.

There are groups out there who want legislation to after firearm sellers and manufacturers for each gun crime. As well as others who want to go after retailers, distributers, and manufacturers of alcohol. I bet you they give a damn also.

Don Lovelace
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I believe the word Felon needs to be divided into two catagories: violent and non-violent.
People can be killed with anything,hammers and knives have been used for more killings than guns.
We do not give a background check at Lowe's for hammers.

Frank Bartholomew
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Don,
thank you, basically the point I was making, where will it end?
Scott, why would the seller of any goods worry about how the product sold is used, if he sold it
to a "responsible person" , it is not the sellers fault if abuse occurs after sale, to worry about
that is a little crazy

Charlie Mallow
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Peter, I got to say you hit on the problem. Dealers are just not going to handle private transfers for the $10 the law spells out. There should be a way for private citizens to handle these background checks online working together. I'm sure they could figure out a way that a buyer could approve a background check and have the seller get the piece of mind that he/she is conducting a legal sale.

Frank Bartholomew
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Scott, I was being facetious about background checks for alcohol sales.I am very familiar with the law regarding
bartenders, as an old friend was a partner in a bar. He was sued for about $1 mil., for serving an intoxicated
person who then got in a motor vehicle accident that killed his friend. The old friend was paying this off
at a whooping $5 a week.I've also seen bartenders fired for refusing a customer.

20,000 PIECES OF GUN CONTROL LEGISLATION PASSED, AND THE CRIMINALS STILL HAVE GUNS!!!

John Woodworth JR
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What Dave and some others may fail to understand that, a private gun sale allows anyone (Criminal and/or Mentally Unstable aka Psycho) to bypass security protocol. I am for background checks for every purchase of a firearm. Just because, one may think they know someone does not mean squat! People are always on the news saying, "They could not believe that, he/she did it!" or "They were such nice people, OMG and they did this horrorible thing."

Background checks are established to help "PREVENT" unauthorized sales of firearms to criminal and/or mentally unstable. Granted some get through because, they are at the beginning stages of their criminal passion or they just have not been caught and filed within the judicial system. Banning Guns is not the issue, people are! I just attended a seminar at the University of Buffalo on "Understanding Human Agression and Violence and Making Our Schools Safe" with the guest speaker Retired US Army LTC Dave Grossman. If, you have not heard what he has to say then you should make arrangements to attend his next seminar or read some of his books. Our society is endanger and our number one threat is "Our Denial!" The storm is coming and we need to be prepare for a social breakdown.

John Woodworth JR
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Charlie the average citizen is authorized to gather certain information but, some things are not allowed in public record (depending on the age of the violator, depending on what deals the lawyers set in place, etc..) Not to mention some private citizens may look the other way because, they are friends or family. I recently denied a friend who inquired if, I would take his money and purchase a firearm for him. He was busted a couple years back for DUI and though it was dropped to a misdemeanor he is still not authorized to purchase a handgun until after 2015. Some people out there would probably do so. I am not saying everyone would but, let's be honest, there are some based on their reaction to this poll that, I feel would.

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