As I’m sure you can imagine, the search term “background check” has skyrocketed on the internet due to the tidal wave of stories about toughening the checks associated with gun ownership. For the last month, my Google alerts are filled with these stories every day even though they have nothing to do with employee background checks (someday Google will just know what I want). Generally, I just ignore them and look for the next thing that peaks my interest. Well, today I came across a Wall Street Journal article that exposed the criminal background checks that are used by gun shops for the Swiss cheese that they are. See below.
Polls show that expanding background checks to cover all gun sales, not just those by licensed dealers, is one of the most popular measures being considered by the White House to curb gun violence. There’s one problem: The system President Barack Obama and many lawmakers hope to expand is full of holes. The National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which federally licensed firearm dealers must use to check the credentials of potential gun buyers, doesn’t include millions of people legally barred from owning guns, researchers and advocates say. Fourteen states list fewer than five people flagged for mental-health issues.
“Many states are still failing to do the bare minimum,” said Mark Glaze, director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which studied the matter in a 2011 report. “We know they have hundreds of thousands of records sitting in state agencies.”
If this is about gun ownership databases, why should we care?