Hope Backs Universal Background Check Bill

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State Rep. Mike Hope (R-44) is a co-sponsor of H.B. 1588, which would subject all firearm transfers to background checks, effectively making it illegal for me to sell a gun to my dad or brother unless I pay money to, and ask permission from, the goverment.

Folks like Danny Westneat think this is a great idea, because people buy and sell guns under I-5 without knowing if the person might be a convicted felon. But I've asked many people -- including Rep. Hope -- for evidence that this bill, or one like it, would actually prevent any significant number of felons from procuring guns, and so far, I've gotten nothing but silence.

What the bill certainly would do is put a burden on many law-abiding citizens: not only would they have to wait some indeterminate amount of time to sell the gun, but they would have to pay money, and risk a flaw in the system denying them the purchase. It would have a serious impact on people who aren't breaking the law, immediately.

The odd thing to me is that Hope, through correspondence to me from his state legislature e-mail account, says he would not vote for this bill as written, even though he is sponsoring it.

He says he will propose amendments for guns transferred from parents to children, exempt law enforcement officers and concealed-carry permit holders, and so on, and that without at least some changes, he will vote against it.

But like Westneat, he thinks the bill will help keep guns out of the hands of felons. I don't believe that, and I see no serious argument or evidence for that. Those felons are already violating the law if they are buying guns at all, and while this law would also make the seller culpable, there's no reason I can see to think that sellers for these felons wouldn't still exist, and be relatively easy to find.

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This page contains a single entry by pudge published on February 11, 2013 6:44 AM.

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