Glenda Olsen: Close background-check loophole

March 5, 2014 

Congress needs to finish the job it started 20 years ago when the Brady Law was enacted, requiring background checks when a person buys a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer. It also set up the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) – a search that usually takes less than a minute. Nearly 1.8 million applications for firearm transfers or permits were denied from 1994 to 2008. This was a good “first step.”

However, loopholes need to be fixed because 40 percent of gun sales are made without background checks when the guns are purchased on the Internet or the newspaper and not through a licensed gun dealer. Also, states are responsible for compiling mental health records from courts, hospitals and other sources to submit to NICS, but because they are not legally required to do so, many do not.

Congress needs to finish the work it started to help keep guns out of the hands of felons, domestic abusers, fugitives and the mentally ill. Nine of 10 Americans support doing this. Are you one of them? Contact Rep. Jeff Denham and tell him to close the background-check loopholes and support HR 1565.

GLENDA OLSEN

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