Bloomberg-backed piece falsely claims Question 1 will stop “convicted felons from buying a gun.”
In a recent mail piece, Nevadans for Background Checks continues to peddle false claims in an attempt to pass a law that would criminalize virtually all private firearms transfers. The mail piece claims that Question 1, the Bloomberg gun control initiative, would stop “convicted felons from buying a gun without a background check.” Criminals, by definition, don’t follow the law. In this case, they will ignore the law and continue their criminal activities unaffected.
A recent study done by the University of Pittsburgh backs that up. The study finds that nearly 8 in 10 gun crimes are committed with illegally-possessed guns. The Washington Post, which is usually in favor of more gun control laws, was forced to admit the findings “…reinforce a common refrain among gun rights advocacy groups. They argue that since criminals don't follow laws, new regulations on gun ownership would only serve to burden lawful owners while doing little to combat crime.”
Question 1 would criminalize virtually all private firearms transfer in Nevada
Instead, Question 1 would criminalize many commonplace activities of Nevada’s law-abiding gun owners. For example, if a close friend or fiancé wanted to go shooting on federal BLM land and borrow a firearm, they must appear jointly at a federally licensed firearms dealer, pay a fee, and undergo a federal background check. When finished, they must return to a licensed gun dealer and go through the whole process again. This is in addition to the background check both gun owners had to go through to initially buy their firearms. If a member of the military gets deployed overseas, and wants a friend to store his or her firearms, the two would have to go through the same hassle – spending time, and money to comply with the government mandates. The initiative is equally poorly worded when it comes to gun transfers in cases of self-defense. For example, if a woman’s estranged husband or boyfriend is stalking or threatening her and she can’t afford a gun to protect herself, a friend could only loan her a gun at the very moment he is standing over her about to attack.
Economists, Criminologists: No benefit from background checks
Economist John Lott, Jr, debunks this and other claims by gun control activists in his new book, “The War on Guns, Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies”:
Economists and criminologists alike consistently find no benefit from background checks.
Eighteen other states either currently have universal background checks or had them at some point during the past three decades. . . When you examine all the states, there is no evidence to be found that these background checks affect murder rates.
[U]sing data from all the states from 1977 to 2005, I found that these expanded background checks produced a very small and statistically insignificant 2 percent increase in murder rates.
[A]cademic studies consistently find that background checks have failed to reduce violent crime.
[B]ackground checks have not been successful in stopping criminals from getting guns.
Many academic studies have failed to produce evidence that background checks on private purchases actually make a difference in reducing violent crimes such as murder and robbery.
[M]urders are 49 percent higher and robberies are 75 percent higher in states with expanded background checks.
Twenty-two of 24 estimates related to changes in the suicide rate and in the murder rate against women and police showed “no change in crimes or suicides as a result of . . . new background checks.” Only two estimates showed statistically significant results. “One showed that states with expanded background checks on transfers had a large increase in police gun deaths. The other showed a relatively miniscule drop in total suicides. But even these results are no longer statistically significant when other factors are taken into account.
The bottom line is that these background checks on private transfers don’t help. Economists, criminologists, and public health researchers have yet to find that the Brady background checks did anything to reduce violent crime. Additional checks aren’t the solution.
Similar Oregon Law: Case Study in Failure
Two years ago, Bloomberg gun control advocates used the same false promises of improved safety in Oregon to pass a similar gun control bill there. Less than three months after the law took effect, a young man shot and killed 9 people at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College. The gunman had passed a federal background check. Not long after that, a convicted felon with a long criminal record shot and killed an Oregon police officer in Seaside. The year before not a single police officer was killed in the line of duty. It’s clear that Oregon’s new gun control law did nothing to prevent those crimes or make the people of Oregon any safer.
Background Check Failures
It’s not just in Oregon where background checks all too often fail to stop criminals from getting guns. The Oregon community college shooter joins numerous other recent attackers and alleged attackers who have passed background checks for their guns. These include:
- Vester Flanagan (Roanoke, VA news crew shooting),
- John Russell Houser (Lafayette theater shooting),
- Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga National Guard shooting)
- Dylann Roof (Charleston church shooting),
- Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara campus shooting),
- Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard),
- Wade Michael Page (Sikh Temple),
- James Holmes (Aurora theater),
- Jared Loughner (Tucson),
- Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009),
- Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech).