Background checks hearing: remove the 3-day limit

T.A. Barnhart

Did you know: If you submit your background check paperwork to buy a gun and the paperwork isn’t done in three days, you get your gun! What could possibly go wrong?

On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee will hear a bill (HB 4147) that would remove that three-day time limit, requiring all background checks to be completed before a gun can be legally sold. This is the very definition of “sensible” and “responsible” gun legislation.

If there is a problem with the background check system, the answer isn’t to bypass the system. If legal gun sales are held up because the system isn’t providing background check responses in three days, the system needs to be fixed. Putting the public’s safety on the line is not the right answer.

I don’t know what the extent of the problem is; that’s probably something that will be made clear (or not, depending on who is testifying) at the hearing. But I’m pretty certain it’s not a huge problem or the gun “rights” extremists would be calling for the entire background check system to be dismantled. My assumption is that it’s working fine as it is. And in terms of a system this large, “fine” means “occasional glitches”.

But if it isn’t, hoping that the person who gets their gun without the check being completed isn’t someone who should be denied the permit is too big a risk. The system exists to protect those of us on the other side of the gun. If we require all permits to be completed, even if it takes more than three days because the system isn’t working properly, then we at least have that level of assurance.

The onus isn’t on gun safety advocates to prove that someone whose check doesn’t get done in time will use that gun to kill. The onus is on those who want the rest of us to trust that won’t ever happen. We need every lawful purchaser to demonstrate this minimal worthiness to own a deadly weapon.

After all, when the gun store runs the buyer’s credit card, they aren’t trusting that the funds are available. They are tapping into a massive global system far more pervasive than even the most rigorous of gun “control” advocates have ever proposed.

Background checks? Ha. Law enforcement has nothing on Visa and MasterCard.

HB 4147, House Judiciary Ctte. Thursday, Feb 4, 3pm. HR 343. Rep Jennifer Williamson, chief sponsor. Co-sponsors: Barnhart, Keny-Guyer, Lively, PIluso, Taylor.

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