Universal background checks are one of the current goals for gun control activists throughout the nation. It’s one of the laws we expect to see in the next two years from the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. We’re told that this will do wonders to stop crime and mass shootings, despite zero evidence supporting that assertion.
What we do have, however, is evidence that the law is easily ignored.
California has had universal background checks since the 1990s, but a recent study calls the effectiveness of that law into question.
Early results from the 2018 California Safety and Wellbeing Survey shows 10 percent of gun owners in the state own about half of all firearms. The majority of gun owners, about 54 percent, have one or two firearms, according to the survey.
What’s more, the survey found that a quarter of respondents said they did not get a background check when they bought a gun, said Nicole Kravitz-Wirtz, a researcher who led the study.
‘We have only about 75 percent of our respondents reporting that they had a background check done when they bought their most recent firearm in California, so that means anywhere from one in four and one in five people not having a background check,’ Kravitz-Wirtz said.
‘(This) does not bode well for the implementation and the enforcement of California’s comprehensive background check law which has been in place since the 1990s.’
And this isn’t just some nebulous “problem,” either. We even have Hollywood celebrities admitting publicly that they broke this particular law while simultaneously calling for increased gun control.
I’ve argued for some time that these “comprehensive background check laws” are unenforceable without a registration scheme to know who has what and when they got it. Otherwise, it’s impossible to look at someone’s collection and know if they’ve skirted the law. As there isn’t a registration scheme–and even then, it would only work if people complied with that law–the background check requirement is essentially pointless.
Moreover, these aren’t criminals buying these guns. They’re people who probably don’t realize that California even has such a law. Ashton Kutcher didn’t realize he was admitting to a crime when he talked about receiving a firearm from a friend in the parking lot of the Borderline Bar & Grill. How many others bought guns not realizing that their state already had such a law despite the media rhetoric about the lack of background checks on guns?
I’m willing to bet that a lot of them did.
Still, others didn’t give a damn. They were selling their property, and they didn’t need to get the state’s permission to do so, and the buyer didn’t need the state’s permission to buy said property. I can’t say that I blame them.
Either way, the big takeaway is that the gun control mecca of California can’t seem to make its own universal background check system stick. How in the world are the gun grabbers going to make it work in places like the Deep South and western states like Kansas, Texas, and Arizona?