February 12, 2016

Closing the ‘gun show loophole’

Requiring criminal background checks for all firearms sales is a gun-control measure that appears to have widespread support. Geri Bonavia with WAVE – Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort – notes polling has shown that majorities of gun owners and National Rifle Association members support criminal background checks before all gun transfers. “What’s most encouraging for our point of view is that this is supported widely, by gun owners and non gun owners alike,” Bonavia said.

“A poll was done earlier this summer, that found that 88 percent of gun owners, and 77 percent of NRA members, support requiring a background check before all gun transfers<” according to Bonavia. The Obama administration has unveiled a package of gun control proposals which includes background checks, improving criminal databases, reinstating and strengthening the assault weapons ban, limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds.

While criminal background checks appear to have at least some bipartisan support in Congress, Bonavia believes National Rifle Association leadership will oppose any such requirement. “They’re interested in making sure that as many guns as possible are being sold, and are out there in circulation,’ she said.

Jim Fendry, director of Wisconsin Pro-Gun Movement, said background checks won’t keep anyone safer. “Criminals will always be able to get guns — they won’t be able to walk into a store and buy one, but they’re available on the alternative market without limit,” Fendry said.

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