Ellie’s Expression: America needs tougher gun laws

Eleanor Marshall
Opinion Columnist

The FBI ran over 15 million background checks for people seeking to buy guns like this MP-446 “Viking” 9mm handgun in 2015. Public Domain Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Recent events in Las Vegas have brought to light the issues our country has regarding gun rights.

On one hand, it’s our right to have a gun. The Second Amendment says so. On the other hand, one person doesn’t need 50 guns in his or her garage.

In the United States there is no legal limit on how many guns a person can own.

According to an article by Stefan Becket for CBS news, “Police said (Stephan) Paddock had at least 23 firearms in his hotel suite. He had been staying in the room since Sept. 28. They said another 19 firearms, thousands of rounds of ammunition, explosives and electronics were found at his home at a retirement community in Mesquite, NV, about 75 miles northeast of Las Vegas.”

To buy a gun, one must go through a background check.

According to an article written by Gregory Korte for USA today, “There are 10 types of people who would be rejected by a background check: felons, fugitives, drug addicts, the mentally ill, illegal immigrants, some legal immigrants, people who have renounced U.S. citizenship, people under restraining orders, people convicted of domestic violence and anyone charged with a crime that could bring more than a year in prison are ineligible. Most checks take just minutes over a computer. Under federal law, a check that takes more than three days means the sale can proceed.”

This might seem fair, and even tough, but there are many ways to get around the law.

“Some (gun shows) are federally licensed dealers who must follow the same regulations as if they were operating out of a store, but gun shows are also frequented by private collectors who set up tables to buy, sell and trade guns. These sales do not require a federal license if they’re made between two people in the same state, and they don’t require a background check,” Korte said.

Current law also allows for sales between private citizens. This means a regular person can buy a gun and sell it to a person who would normally be rejected in a background check.

“If you want to give a gun to your son or daughter or you want to sell it to your neighbors or friends, there is no background check required,” Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont said during the Congress floor debate.

America must tighten up gun laws.

To that end, citizens can call or write their congressmen and governors and ask them to support stricter gun regulations in their state and to support bills that extend federal gun control.


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Categories: Column, Opinion

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