Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, Jan. 19

Letter: Current gun laws suffice if enforced


Universal background checks seem to be the current gun control effort under consideration. I read that 40 percent of gun sales at gun shows are not subject to a buyer's background check. This figure, cited by President Obama, turned out to be a study that was done 40 years ago and consisted of only having looked at 250 firearms buyers.

In attending a recent gun show in Prescott Valley, I saw very few gun sellers wandering the show advertising that they had private guns for sale. Licensed dealers were sitting at tables, responsibly displaying and selling firearms in compliance with state and federal laws. Obviously, this 40 percent figure is not reliable.

If private sales without a background check are made illegal, then a background check requirement would extend to other venues. For example, transfer of gifts of firearms to family members and friends would be subject to a background check.

Instead, the government should look at prosecuting unqualified individuals who fail the current instant check system.

Another issue is that of high-capacity magazines. To quote a U.S. Senator, "one bullet in the hand of a mentally unstable person or a convicted felon is too many. Six bullets in the hands of a mother protecting her twin 9-year-olds may not be enough."

Also, the current push to outlaw semi-automatic firearms is a flawed idea. Semi-automatic firearms have been around for more than 125 years and include hunting rifles, shotguns and target rifles. FBI stats state that fewer than 2.6 percent of all murders are committed with rifles of any kind.

Let's not overreact to recent tragedies by enacting senseless legislation that will be ineffectual and will only impact law-abiding citizens. Let's start enforcing current laws that are already on the books. Let's take a close look at violence in movies and video games. Let's find a way to identify people who are mentally unstable and who should not have access to firearms. If we do not do these things, then things will not change.

Garry Shumann

Chino Valley

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