Background checks for all gun sales

In the months leading up to the Democrats’ takeover of the House, Republicans warned of the Left’s desire to start overturning the Second Amendment. One of the first acts of the new majority was to introduce H.R. 8 to require a background check for every firearm sale. In other words, a bill to make background checks “universal.”

Gun-control advocates claim universal background checks will stop dangerous people from obtaining firearms. But there are federal laws and regulations that already do that for felons, fugitives, domestic abusers, etc.

The heart of the issue, new bipartisan legislation requires background checks by every person who sells or transfers a gun. Critics say the bill is an attempt to ban private gun sales, personal collections and even the borrowing of a firearm.

While this bill was offered as a response to tragic mass shootings, a study on background checks on mass shootings is “inconclusive.” Inconclusive evidence is a poor excuse to pass any law in Congress.

H.R. 8 subjects law-abiding citizens to potential federal criminal penalties for simply handing a gun to another person.

While there are some exceptions, they are overly broad and complicated for unwary citizens. Unfortunately, this bill will make criminals out of responsible gun owners and heavily infringes on the Second Amendment.

Some gun related tragedies and crimes are preventable. However, instead of undermining the Constitution, we should improve cooperation between law enforcement agencies to ensure that U.S. citizens are protected from violent criminals and mentally ill people wishing to harm others.

ALFRED B. PETTIT JR.

Gloversville