AP NEWS

Check Facts Before Publishing Editorials

March 25, 2019

Editor: The editor should check facts before publishing an editorial such as “Senate should OK checks for all gun sales” (March 7). Regarding “mass shootings,” in all cases, the guns were legally purchased from a Federal Firearms License dealer and background checks were done and the sale approved. The cited data actually shows that this law will have no effect on crime where “96 percent of inmates in prison for gun related offenses ... had acquired the weapons in private transactions.” According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 43.2 percent of guns used in crimes were stolen or acquired on the black market with another 42.7 percent obtained illegally (e.g. straw purchases). Only 0.8 percent were bought at a gun show and none were reported purchased online. Criminals are not going to use a licensed dealer to purchase or transfer a weapon. The mere attempt of a felon to purchase a firearm is a federal offense. What is not mentioned is that even loaning a gun to a friend would require a background check and it is not free. Sure it may take 90 seconds to run the NICS check to transfer a gun to a neighbor for his deer hunting season or some target shooting, but a licensed dealer charges $25 to $35 currently and there is no limit set to what a dealer may charge. Also the same amount will be charged for the return of the gun. Coincidently, in the March 9 editorial on “Gun bill a public safety” regarding gun suicides, if House Resolution 8 is passed, it would make it a felony for a friend or relative to hold onto a gun of a suicidal person without a Federal Firearms License transfer. This law only further restricts the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Bill Gelatka WEST PITTSTON

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