At the risk of being like REALLY wrong, I’m thinking Trump and Sanders are going to face off on this race. Both are rich old guys. and they appeal to extreme elements in there respective parties.
Trump at least has shown he will promote a conservative supreme court. Sanders will take us to a stronger version of socialism. These appeal to extremes in the voting ranks of the right and the left.
Socialism is not a bad word to some, due to the phrase Democratic Socialism. Purported to be a kinder and gentler government. Even though social programs mandated by government end up being expensive and taking individual choice away.
Those who follow a more Constitutional mindset, feel further work on improving the economy, and even more conservative SCOTUS will be the result of voting Conservative. Some see this as being a detriment to making the country kinder.
In the middle is everyone else, striving to pick something they want out of this election.
So… examine the history of the persons facing off, realize that they are being sponsored by particular groups, and entities that are vying for their vision of America as we go to our future.
Some want a set of services, even if the taxes go up. They want to have access to Universal Income, a much higher minimum wage, Abortion rights enshrined in a much broader way, in Federal law.
It extends to free college, and a health care system where government provides EVERYONE with basic coverage.
This group is likely to approach the Constitution under a flexible framework of interpretation.
Others want a free market solution to everything, when possible. These view taxation as an impediment to business, and an impediment to personal income growth.
Also they want the States to manage those things that are relegated to the States by the Constitution.
This group approaches the Constitution as a much more rigid document. Interpreted by the way language was used in the time of it’s writing.
Both of these Candidates are very fluid in their evolution, doublespeak for, do and say whatever it take to get into office.
Trump, while he has done some good, surprised me, actually, is a deal maker, and he will push Presidential powers in new ways even more than he already has.
Sanders is well known for his socialist leanings. He has a lot of appeal. Many view him as a change for good. He’s fairly direct with what he intends to do.
I challenge my readers to examine their past, warts and all. I challenge you to turn off mainstream MEDIA, and look at what these guys support, what they vote for, and their past affiliates.
Both of them are politicians, each one has a view of where America should be, as history rolls out.
Then CHOOSE, with disdain, usually, the one that might do less damage to your vision of our nation.
The curent news environment is quite frankly, a turn off, each news thread is blatantly advocating an AGENDA. I am happy to have someone present a view, it makes for great conversation. Molding the narrative to leave me with a pre-digested view is insulting, and denies me a balanced story.
Dedicated to those who can no longer argue for themselves.
As a citizen and a teacher of logic, I humbly offer as a public service this sampling of the many bad arguments made in response to even modest suggestions meant to reduce the number of deaths and injuries produced at the hands of individuals wielding assault-style firearms.
Some of these arguments are of a very recent vintage; others are clichés, well-worn by dint of repetition but still easily recognizable. Many have been uttered by politicians, pundits, and other public figures; countless variations are continuously issued from a multitude of social media feeds. All represent failures of reasoning in the eyes of logic.
Logic is the science of argumentation. Put in the simplest terms, logic defines an argument as one or more statements (called premises) that claim to provide reasons to believe another statement (called the conclusion). Here’s an example of a simple argument:
“The easy availability of assault-style firearms has led to too many mass shootings. Therefore, we need to ban these weapons, or at least more strictly regulate access to them.”
In my experience, this is where the gun debate starts, usually shortly after a mass shooting. I also think that among gun control advocates this is the most typical response to such shootings. I’ll call it the prime argument for gun control.
There are two ways to critique an argument: attack the truth of its premises, or show how the conclusion doesn’t follow from the premises given. Demonstrating the falsity of a premise cannot help but weaken an argument. Showing that the conclusion doesn’t follow is to reveal a fallacy, a mistake in reasoning or the creation of an illusion that makes a bad argument appear good. Philosophers have spent centuries naming and categorizing these failures of reason.
For the most part, gun control opponents don’t directly address the prime argument. Instead, they rush to present counterarguments which they think are superior, but which often commit fallacies. I have paraphrased them here for the sake of brevity (and made explicit the implied conclusions), followed by a brief explanation of the fallacy committed. They are presented in no particular order.
(1) “Clearly, you people want to abolish the second amendment.” (Therefore, the prime argument is invalid.) Except the prime argument doesn’t argue for the abolishment of the second amendment. It argues for specific gun control policies, which is not the same thing. This is the straw man fallacy, which distorts an opponent’s argument beyond recognition for the purpose of more easily attacking it. The problem here is that this strategy leaves the prime argument completely unrefuted.
(3) “Any attempt to regulate firearms will infringe on the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.” (And since we don’t want to infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens, we must not accept the conclusion of the prime argument.) This is the fallacy of false dilemma, where the premises present two alternatives as if they are the only ones available followed by the arguer eliminating the undesirable alternative, leaving the other as the only possible conclusion. But the prime argument easily dissolves this dilemma because, as I have just noted, there is no disjunction between the constitutional right to bear arms and gun regulation.
(4) “Even if we pass stricter gun regulation, people will find a way to get these weapons and these tragedies will still occur.” (Therefore, the prime argument is flawed.) If we accepted this logic we would have to repeal all laws that are not 100% effective—that is to say, all laws. This is known as the perfectionist fallacy, when realistic solutions are rejected because they are not perfect. Most people advancing the prime argument are under no illusion that stricter gun regulation will completely eliminate mass shootings. But any regulation that reduces the number of gun-related deaths is arguably a good enough reason to consider it.
(5) “The media loves to politicize these tragedies” or “millions of law-abiding Americans are being indicted as child murderers” or “it’s interesting that so many of these people who commit mass murders end up being Democrats” or “those who advocate gun control don’t even know the difference between a clip and a magazine, etc.” (Therefore, the prime argument is mistaken.) These are examples of red herrings. This is probably the most common fallacy committed in the gun debate, and it has an infinite number of variations. The way it works is by distracting the attention of the audience by changing the subject to a different but subtly related topic. But think about it: even if all of the premises above were true, they could not count as blows against the prime argument because each premise is completely irrelevant to that argument.
(6) “We have a terrible problem with obesity, but we’re not banning forks and spoons.” (Therefore, we cannot accept the conclusion of the prime argument.)Arguments by analogy depend on a comparison between two different things or situations that have a sufficient number of similarities to draw a strong conclusion. When there is not a sufficient number of relevant similarities between the things compared, the fallacy of weak analogy occurs. This can be seen in the (actual!) example above, provided by Florida state senator Dennis Baxley. The reason the analogy is weak should be obvious: I cannot recall the last time someone walked into a high school with a bag of silverware and force fed scores of students to death. This is admittedly pretty low-hanging fruit, but arguments by analogy are another staple in the argumentative arsenal of gun control opponents and more typically involve comparisons between guns and things like knives or cars. But the mistake they make that almost always renders these analogies weak is that they assume that because any object is potentially deadly all objects are potentially equally deadly. This is obviously false. After all, if all objects were equally deadly, we could ably defend ourselves against malevolent gun-wielders with any object whatsoever.
(7) “Guns aren’t the cause of mass shootings. The cause of mass shootings is mental illness, drug abuse, violent video games, and/or gun-free zones, etc.” (Therefore, the prime argument is based on a flawed premise.) This line of argument at least has the virtue of addressing the causal nature of the prime argument, which asserts that the ready availability of assault-style firearms causes mass shootings. Now it’s reasonable to claim that mental illness and drug abuse have played a factor in some mass shootings. But to claim that guns have had no causal role whatsoever in any mass shooting is absurd. In fact, the presence of guns is the one factor common to all mass shootings. This is a variety of the false cause fallacy, more specifically, oversimplified cause. After all, a person abusing drugs without a gun is . . . just a person abusing drugs. Similarly, an unarmed person suffering from mental illness is not going to shoot anyone so long as they have no access to firearms. Gun-free zones without guns are . . . gun-free zones where no one gets shot. This fallacy is most succinctly expressed by the NRA slogan: “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” No—it’s the combination of people and guns that kill.
(8) “Guns are not to blame because there have always been guns.” (Therefore, the prime argument must be dismissed out of hand.) First of all, the premise is historically incorrect, but if we interpret it in the spirit of generosity this is another case of oversimplified cause. No matter how much gun control opponents would wish it otherwise, guns will always play a role in gun deaths—by definition. Secondly, there is a lot of suppressed evidence here. At the founding of the republic we had a much smaller population owning single-shot firearms. Given the weapons technology of the time, it’s hard to imagine what a mass shooting would look like. Today gun ownership exceeds our current population of 320 million, and many of these weapons can rapidly fire several rounds in seconds. All of this disregarded data helps to explain the significant increase in the number of those killed or wounded by guns; it also undermines this argument.
(9) “As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain . . . What they want are more restrictions on the law-abiding—think about that . . . You should be anxious, and you should be frightened. If they seize power, if these so-called ‘European socialists’ take over the House and the Senate, and God forbid they get the White House again, our Americans freedoms could be lost and our country will be changed forever.” (Therefore, we must soundly renounce the prime argument.) These remarks from NRA executive vice president Wayne LaPierre are a perfect example of the slippery slope fallacy, which occurs when a conclusion rests on an alleged chain reaction of events when there is not sufficient reason to think this chain reaction will occur. Will the banning or regulation of assault-style firearms kick off a chain of events that will result in the loss of all our constitutionally-guaranteed freedoms? I am doubtful, especially since the Supreme Court has ruled that private gun ownership can be subjected to regulation. There is also clearly an appeal to fear here, aimed at irrational suspicions and fears founded on no solid evidence.
(10) “But the purpose of the second amendment is to allow citizens to resist a tyrannical government.” (Therefore, we must reject the prime argument.) This argument is not fallacious, and in fact it might be the strongest argument on this list. Still, the premise is questionable. First, it is not at all clear that this was the intended purpose of the amendment, and many historians have argued against this reading. Secondly, as a practical matter, it seems dubious that independent and disorganized citizens could effectively oppose the combined forces of the U.S. military armed with 21st century weapons technology. And third, the premise seems to assume that the only way to resist tyranny is react to it through force of arms. In fact, strong arguments have been made that a more efficient way of preventing tyranny is when it is but in design, through proactive civic and political engagement.
(11) “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” (Therefore, the prime argument must be rejected.) There’s no fallacy here but the argument glosses over the fact that we already have “good guys with guns”: law enforcement officers trained to handle firearms to keep the public peace on our behalf. The premise also makes so many assumptions that it can’t possibly stand by itself. It assumes that “good guys with guns” are as well-trained as professional police in active shooter situations, which are not the same as hunting or target shooting. It assumes that all professional police officers draw and fire their weapons over the course of their careers, and that they always hit their intended targets. It assumes spontaneous and seamless tactical coordination between civilian good guys with guns and law enforcement and/or other good guys with guns, in a fluid, chaotic, and lethal encounter with a bad guy with a gun. It assumes that increasing the number of weapons in such a situation make it less lethal and not more so—despite the fact that in such a situation we can more reasonably assume vastly different levels of active shooter training, ranging from none at all to expert, and even more importantly, different levels of real world experience. Perhaps most obviously, surely “bad guys with guns” have been stopped by people not armed with a gun. Until these assumptions are adequately supported, this will remain a very weak argument.
(12) “Gun control proponents are socialist snowflake libtards who are only interested in exploiting this issue for political gain.” (Therefore, the prime argument is suspect.) The argument against the person (or Argumentum ad Hominem) tries to refute an argument by verbally abusing the author of the argument, or by suggesting that their circumstances makes them predisposed to argue in a certain way. Unfortunately, calling your opponents names does nothing to undermine their arguments, and noting that they might be inclined to argue in certain ways is logically irrelevant to the force of the arguments themselves. The same holds true in the gun debate.
(13) “The so-called ‘victims’ of mass shootings are actually crisis actors who participate in false flag operations in order to engineer the mass confiscation of all firearms.” (Therefore, we must not fall for the prime argument!) This is an example of conspiratorial thinking, which has sadly become more prevalent of late in regard to this and other important issues. Conspiratorial thinking is a form of hypothetical reasoning, and so is similar to the kind of thinking that happens in science. Like scientists, those who advance conspiracies are attempting to explain phenomena by advancing hypotheses—but this is where the similarity ends. Scientists have a rigorous method of formulating hypotheses, drawing out their implications, and then testing these implications in an attempt to prove their hypotheses through careful observation, measurement, and mathematical expression, all of which are subject to peer review. Conspiracy theorists, by way of contrast, tend to generate hypotheses in an ad hoc fashion, are lax about what does and does not count as legitimate evidence, have no well-developed method for testing their hypotheses, and there is no peer review in the “science” of conspiracy. In fact, conspiracy theorists rarely attempt to prove their hypotheses. More often than not they simply put forward a piece of speculation and then fall back on an appeal to ignorance, a fallacy that claims something has been proved by virtue of nothing being proved one way or the other about that something. An appeal to ignorance in the present context might look like this: “No one has ever proved conclusively that the so-called ‘victims’ of mass shootings are not crisis actors, so we must conclude that these ‘victims’ are indeed crisis actors.”Any rational person can see that this argument provides no positive evidence for its claim, and a lack of evidence reveals nothing but our ignorance.
I know this list is not exhaustive, but I am confident it is representative. I also know that this list will make no impression whatsoever on those who dogmatically oppose reasonable gun legislation. My point in making it public is to show the vast majority of Americans who favor such legislation that reason is not on the side of this loud and dogmatic minority. Nevertheless, these fallacies muddle the debate and threaten to keep us trapped in a permanent state of confusion with no way out of a state of affairs that continues to destroy countless lives every year. The sooner we as a society become wise to these failures of reasoning, the sooner we can move toward a reasonable compromise that will reduce the number of gun-related deaths and injuries on our streets and in our homes, schools, and other public places.
Originally posted February 25, 2018 Last revised April 15, 2018
The least likely to commit a gun crime are being punished, with a gun tax in some cities. Gun owners are large consumers of other products in the market. CEOs and cities take note…
When companies move in ways that are against our beliefs and our lifestyles, we simply take our business else where.
So… Cities imposing extra taxes on guns, and ammo, are simply moving businesses and citizens to other venues to do their purchasing, and selling, of not only guns, but other items in the market.
A legal, vetted, citizen buys a gun, going through the many steps, then they are taxed, extra.
This is an infringement on the honest Citizen. The business is within their legal right to do this. Some have thought this through and feel it may help the ‘gun problem’.
The ‘gun problem’.
Is the media making social pariahs of lawful citizens
Our national detractors have bolstered the ‘gun problem’. Pushing the reduced access of guns to the general population of the country.
Using children to decry the ‘gun problem’.
Creating narratives that are partially true to address the ‘gun problem’.
To address the ones most likely to commit a gun crime, how about teaching that guns are a tool for a purpose, self defense, hunting, sports, and not an answer to retaliate for the perceived wrongs in a person’s life?
How about not excoriating the honest citizen that owns guns.
How about beating the drum, to promote values that move against gun violence;
Government programs that work to keep families together.
Promoting ideals that describe and promote a strong male/father figure in families.
Promoting sanctity of human life in all it’s stages, from birth to old age.
How about NEVER naming mass shooters, to keep them from being notorious.
Beating the drum to appeal the 2nd amendment? Maybe we can call the Media on that one. Our enemies love this.
The enemies of our nation continue to put a public face on working for peace, working for trade equality, and working for building a cleaner and more equitable world for everyone.
Behind the curtain, behind the smoke, behind the smiles and ingratiating head nods, our enemies are paying out big time to dis arm our citizens. Many in Media are well aware of the AGENDA.
In the early days of our REPUBLIC, we had no choice, be armed and ready. If not the US journey would have finished with a distnctly British accent.
Our choices today are the same, keep an armed populace or elements will creep in and destroy our Nation by the death of a thousand cuts.
The Media has joined with the Liberals, to the delight of our enemies, to make gun owners social pariahs.
Our current issues with mass shootings is stemming from a cheapening of Human Life. Abortion, Ethanasia being touted widely, and a departure from moral values that included prayer and Bible reading being excluded from govt schools.
The public square has attempted to exclude Judeo-Chritian teachings and values.
So all this together, in my most humble opinion, has contributed to the mentally unstable shooting up the crowds. Death by cop, and noteriety, along with exacting revenge, for usually imagined slights, all are in this mix.
So here we are, the Agenda slicing and dicing us into in non-communicating segments.
Each side is entrenched, each side won’t budge on thier position.
So… There so many people of diverse views that do talk, that do work on managing the nutcases with guns.
What they say is, if the gun isn’t on your person, lock it up, in a safe, behind a locked door.
If you are violent, no gun.
If you are a gun owner, allow for the concerns non owners have.
Gun opposers can turn down the Media Agenda of demonizing gun owners and realize we all want the same thing… Safety.
All of us need to actually learn what gun ownership is, and what it means.
Children making appeals for gun safety, and gun bans are being used by the Agenda to decide us into opposing camps.
Not going to be passive about my personal response to potential mass violence.
When I enter a room, I look for exits, and potential defenses in the room. I work in schools and private homes.
In the course of my day you will find me armed.
I teach and model behavior that promotes each person being responsible for their own safety.
The Police have no role in preventing injury to you, they are the cleanup crew after a crime. They can pursue, and apprehend AFTER the fact.
For decades now, anti-terror experts, law enforcement agents, and emergency responders have been gathering information on who perpetrates mass shootings most frequently in the United States. Because these tragedies are so prevalent, they’ve now compiled quite a large mass of data on the phenomena.
Their data shows that active shooters often exhibit similar behavior and characteristics in the months and weeks before an attack. This behavior can provide warning signs for a potential shooting, but these signs are rarely reported to the authorities.
For that reason, here is some information on what to look out for if you suspect someone might be a mass shooter. Keep reading to get the warning signs.
A Single Man is More Likely to Be a Mass Shooter
In 2018, the FBI published a study that examined 63 mass shootings in the United States from 2000 to 2013, in an attempt to identify “those who may be on a pathway to deadly violence.”
In it, one point of data clearly differentiates American mass shooters from other members of society. 94% of active shooters were men. A different FBI study analyzed 50 active shooter incidents from 2016 to 2017, and found that all the shooters were male.
57% of the shooters were also either divorced, separated, or single at the time of the shooting.
According to the first study, mass shooters are white 63% of the time, which makes sense consider 60% of the U.S. population identifies themselves as Caucasian.
Watch Out for Abusive Behavior
Aside from being male and divorced or single, the majority of shooters had troubling behavior in common. This is behavior in the form of harassment, bullying, abuse, and perhaps previous incidences of violence.
The FBI found that 35% of our mass shooters in the 21st century had been previously convicted of a crime, felony or misdemeanor. 62% of mass shooters had a personal history of acting in an “abusive, harassing, and oppressive way,” according to the aforementioned reports. This behavior included incidents of “excessive bullying and workplace harassment.”
16% of shooters had previously had domestic abuse records and 11% were known stalkers and harassers of both men and women.
Prior to the attacks, the shooters in this study had, on average, 4.7 instances of troubling behavior.
77% spent at least a week planning their shootings, where these types of behaviors increased in frequency as they became more erratic. Most shockingly, over 50% of the shooter had told someone prior to the attacks that they were planning a mass shooting. Still, these behaviors rarely get reported.
The people who can most easily spot this troublesome behavior are the people closest to a potential shooter. This is either friends, family, or classmates. Again, most of the time, these people rarely ever report their erratic friend or relative to the FBI or their local police force, unfortunately.
This is surprising, as these people often have the most to lose. Of the nearly 160 mass shootings from 2009 to 2016, the gunmen shot their family member or romantic partner 54% of the time.
An Obsession with Guns and Other Weapons
Shooters often like to buy, build, or study illegal explosives, and quickly learn how to get and use a variety of guns, whether it be an assault rifle, a Glock, or a shotgun.
They also might have an assorted collection of other weapons like knives, batons, and other military gear. Post-shooting, law enforcement officers often find the shooters’ residences armed and booby-trapped with explosives and other weapons.
Look Out for Loners
Shooters are lone wolves. They tend to stick to themselves unless they find someone willing to join their nihilistic cause, like the two Columbine shooters that took the lives of so many.
It is this introverted personality combined with a history of violence, an obsession with guns, and a lack of conscience that is the most concerning. This type of person is very likely to one day become a mass shooter.
Shooters Come From Dysfunctional Families
Almost everybody has a mildly dysfunctional family, but a potential mass shooter typically has a dangerously dysfunctional home life. In other words, there are environmental and genetic factors that contribute to a shooter’s violent behavior.
They often lack mature brain development, and they tend to be far removed from environments and situations that would contribute to a positive outlook on life.
A Lack of Morals or Ethics
A lack of a guilty conscience is probably one of the most haunting signs of a mass shooter. A potential shooter can do horrible things and show no signs of remorse.
A mass shooter might have a history of killing wild animals or even family pets just for the fun of it. If you know a person like this, and they have no guilt about it, they may be a sociopath and one day commit an act of terror that is all too common in our country today.
Mass shooters don’t have to desire or the ability to live ethically. They have no conscience and get off on their traumatic displays of violence and murder. For many mass shooters, the thrill of it, as well as the notoriety is what made them want to commit a mass shooting in the first place.ay, no location is too sacred for a mass shooter to unleash terror, whether it be a school in Connecticut, a movie theater in Colorado, or a church in Charleston. Active shooters will hit your community where it hurts the most.
PERSONALLY, I carry a handgun, don’t go to potentially dangerous places. I use de-escalating speech and mannerisms. I am polite, and present as a non-victim.
I have thought through what I would do in a mass shooting event.
If possible, I will stop the guy with the gun, period.
Behind the HIGH PROFILE cases suing businesses over services to same sex couples, is big money.
This money is trying to change laws through the courts. Destroying families in the process.
Get this straight: Gay weddings don’t outweigh
| August 27, 2019 02:21 PM
The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals defended the First
Amendment last week, and effectively also took a stand against forced
Once again, the putative dispute involved same-sex wedding
ceremonies. And once again, a federal court had to remind state
officials that people remain free to choose not to participate
in private events. Freedom to abstain is a basic right, period.
It should worry people that the political left seems so willing to
conscript labor in order to enforce its version of cultural
correctness. Even in this case, one of the three judges on the Eighth
Circuit supported the conscription. That judge, Jane Kelly, is badly
mistaken in wanting to curtail the rights of Americans. Federal
courts must continue to quash these efforts at compelled expression
and forced servitude.
In the first paragraph of the controlling
decision, Judge David Stras explained the case succinctly: “Carl
and Angel Larsen wish to make wedding videos. Can Minnesota require
them to produce videos of same-sex weddings, even if the message
would conflict with their own beliefs? The district court concluded
that it could and dismissed the Larsens’ constitutional challenge
to Minnesota’s anti-discrimination law. Because the First Amendment
allows the Larsens to choose when to speak and what to say, we
reverse the dismissal of two of their claims.”
This should go without saying. It should be obvious. Creating a
video is an expressive act. It is in every other instance protected
by the First Amendment. Moreover, as noted above, the Larsens do this
as a commercial enterprise. It is a hired service. Apart from public
accommodations such as inns and restaurants that provide basics of
life such as food and shelter, commercial enterprises are free to
withhold their labor for any reason other than discrimination against
a constitutionally protected class of citizens (such as a racial or
People desiring wedding services are not a protected class. Yes,
in Minnesota, homosexuals are a protected class, but the Larsens
serve homosexuals gladly and without discrimination. They just draw
the line at same-sexweddings. A wedding carries with
it a specific meaning to people of traditional faith. It has done so
several millennia. The First Amendment protects not just expression,
but also the exercise of faith.
A Muslim has every right to refuse to serve a Jewish wedding. A
Jew has every right to refuse to serve a wedding of neo-Nazis. A
devout Catholic has every right to refuse to serve a wedding of two
previously married people whose marriages have not been annulled by
the Church. So why should the Larsens’ case be any different?
Leftists are great at saying “live and let live,” until
somebody tries to live in a way they don’t like. They are unwilling
to let traditional Christians mind their own business and live the
way they want. The leftist hypocrisy is almost as bad as its
disregard for others’ basic rights. Almost as bad, but
not quite. Those basic rights include the right to be hypocrites.
Thankfully, the Eight Circuit panel ruled that they can’t be
hypocrites at the expense of someone else’s time, effort, and
beliefs. So should every other court that hears such cases.
In my sate of Tennessee, private gun sales happen with a casual transfer to a person who pays .
Gun shows are private sales for this purpose.
Many of us selling guns to individuals, will require I.D., a picture of the gun serial number, and a picture of , usually, a driver’s license.
I warn people to allow the picture of the license, and picture of the gun serial number, or buy from someone else.
That’s just me, many will hand the gun over, after payment, period.
What You Need to Know about Background Checks for Guns
There are several ways to buy guns in the US. You can buy them from a licensed retail outlet, a gun show, online, and through a private sale.
Background checks are only required if you purchase a gun through a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), which includes retailers (anyone from Walmart to mom and pop shops) and some individuals. You do not need to undergo a background check if you buy a gun online, through a gun show, or through some private sales. You can check the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to see FFLs in your state.
The Gun Control Act of 1968 was passed in response to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. This act prohibited certain people from buying guns, such as fugitives, people convicted of crimes that were punished by a prison sentence of a year or more, substance abusers, and people convicted of domestic violence crimes.
The 1968 act also required retailers and individuals selling firearms to obtain a Federal Firearms License (FFL) and meet certain requirements.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (commonly known as the Brady Law) was later passed in 1993 after press secretary Jim Brady was shot during an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. The Brady Law requires all FFLs to run background checks on people purchasing guns, through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
How a Background Check for Guns Works
If you decide to buy a gun from an FFL, you have to fill out a 4473 Form (also called a Firearms Transaction Record). After you fill out the form, the person selling you a gun will run your information through NICS, which is maintained by the FBI.
Running a background check through NICS takes about 30 seconds. If there is nothing on your record that prohibits you from buying a gun, you can go ahead with your purchase. You will not be allowed to purchase a gun if something in your record disqualifies you.
Under the Brady Law, if there’s something in your record that needs further investigation, then the FBI has three business days (not including the day they run your initial background check) to get back to you. If the FBI doesn’t either approve or deny you after three business days, then you can go ahead and buy a gun.
Are diagnosed mentally ill, which can include being involuntarily committed, found not guilty by reason of insanity, or found unfit to stand trial
Reside in the US illegally
Are dishonorably discharged from the military
Had a restraining ordered issued against you (i.e. found guilty of harassing, stalking, or threatening a partner or the child of your partner)
Were convicted of domestic violence (i.e. convicted of using or threatening to use a deadly weapon against a spouse, former spouse, parent, guardian of the victim, etc.)
Have renounced your US citizenship
What Else Do You Need to Know About Background Checks for Guns?
It’s important to note that in addition to federal laws, each state also has its own gun background check laws. Make sure you check your state’s laws about who can own a gun and what the background check process looks like.