OPPOSE the Criminalization of Private Firearms Transfers
Virginia: OPPOSE the Criminalization of Private Firearms Transfers
"Universal" background checks do not stop criminals
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), 75 percent of criminals in state and federal state prison who had possessed a firearm during their offense acquired the firearm through theft, “Off the street/underground market,” or “from a family member or friend, or as a gift.” Less than one percent got firearms from dealers or non-dealers at gun shows.
Criminals defeat the background check system by getting guns through straw purchasers. ATF has reported, “[t]he most frequent type of trafficking channel identified in ATF investigations is straw purchasing from federally licensed firearms dealers. Nearly 50 percent....”
In a 2018 study, researchers at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the UC Davis School of Medicine found that comprehensive background checks and prohibitions based on violent misdemeanors “were not associated with changes in firearm suicide or homicide.”
The National Instant Criminal Background Check Systems (NICS) would become a registry of firearm transfers if all firearms transfers were subject to NICS checks and the FBI retained records of approved checks indefinitely, both of which gun control supporters have proposed. This is because such records include information currently maintained on federal Form 4473, documenting the identity of the firearm purchaser and the make, model and serial number of the firearm transferred. Over time, as people sell or bequeath their firearms, a registry of firearm transfers would become a registry of firearms possessed.
There is no "gun show loophole" or "online sales loophole"
Federal law requires all firearm dealers to be licensed and to initiate a NICS check before transferring a firearm to a non-dealer, regardless of where the transfer takes place or of how people communicate about selling/buying a firearm. Virginia law already requires the state police to be available to perform background checks for firearm transfers between non-dealers at gun shows.
The "40 percent" myth
In January 2013, the Washington Post gave President Obama "Three Pinocchios" for claiming that 40 percent of firearms are sold without a background check, and noted that the authors of the study upon which the claim is based say, “we don’t know the current percentage, nor does anyone else.”
There is no overwhelming support for "universal" background checks
Gun control supporters claim that 92 percent of Americans support background checks on all firearm transfers. In November 2014, a background check ballot initiative in Washington was approved by only 59 percent of voters. In November 2016, Maine voters rejected a background check referendum by a margin of 52 to 48 percent, while Nevada voters narrowly adopted an unenforceable background check measure 50.45 to 49.55 percent.
"Universal" background checks would not have prevented the Virginia Beach tragedy
According to law enforcement, the perpetrator of the shooting in Virginia Beach legally purchased the firearms used in the attack.
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.