Buying a gun is a simple, constitutionally protected right. That’s not really a matter for debate, though some people will undoubtedly try.
Many of those folks live in the Northeast.
For some reason, that part of the nation has a very high build-up of people who want to restrict guns to varying degrees. One state that’s a notable exception is Maine. They have a fairly pro-gun record and ridiculously low crime compared to the rest of the nation.
That’s not enough to stop some from trying to pass a series of gun control laws, including one that would add a waiting period to gun sales.
The Pine Tree State, back in 2015, joined the ranks of several other states in the nation and became a ‘constitutional carry’ state. This means that a Maine resident, who isn’t prohibit from owning a firearm, may carry one concealed with or without a concealed carry permit. However, the group of gun control bills the Maine legislature is currently reviewing does not impact the constitutional carry statute- at least not yet.
Contained within these bills is a proposed 72-hour waiting period for all firearm purchases. Currently, at least in Maine, a person who is lawfully allowed to purchase a firearm will fill out an FBI background check form, and once it is approved, the person may take possession of the gun. That could soon be changing, WABI reported.
Contained in the proposals is an increased waiting period of 72 hours between when an FBI background check is approved and when the person may take the firearm. Additionally, certain legislators and advocates are aiming to shut down what they call the ‘gun show loophole’.
First, there is no “gun show loophole.”
What they’re talking about are face-to-face transfers that happen all over the place but just happen to transpire at a gun show.
Second, note that this isn’t just a 72-hour waiting period. It required a 72-hour wait after the NICS check. That can take up to three days all by itself.
As a result, a law-abiding citizen could be forced to wait six days in order to actually take possession of a firearm.
Even if you think a waiting period is a good idea, why does it have to be written in such a way that the clock starts after the required background check? Three days are three days. There’s no advantage to making someone wait three more days before taking possession of their firearm simply because the FBI dragged their posteriors.
Yet what it may do is cost lives.
Picture this: A woman starts noticing a creepy dude following her home at night. She starts getting weird phone calls. Strange and terrifying notes are left on her car in parking lots all over town. She’s scared, so she decides to get a gun for protection.
She walked into a gun store in Maine and asks about a handgun. She picks one that fits her hand and as the store has a range, she finds that she can shoot it well enough right out of the gate. Paperwork all filled out, she finds out there’s a delay.
“Don’t worry,” the guy behind the counter says. “This happens fairly regularly. If I don’t hear back from them in three days, it counts as a passed check.”
This, of course, is terrifying news. Then comes the kicker. “Of course, after that, we have a three-day waiting period.”
“What? I could have to wait three days just to start the three-day period?” she asks.
“Yes, ma’am. State law. I can’t do anything about it.”
Dejected, she leaves with a promise to come back.
Three days later, the dealer gets the NICS check. It comes back all clear, so he calls the woman. She’s scared–the creepiness that prompted her to buy a gun has been ramped up–but she’s happy to hear she can take possession of her gun in a few days.
Another three days pass and the woman doesn’t show up. Then another day. And another.
Then the dealer logs onto the local news website and sees the young lady. Her body was found in a wooded area. She’d been killed several days earlier. He looks at it and realizes that without the waiting period, she might still be alive.
It’s easy for gun control advocates to look at a case here or there where they can try and argue a waiting period would make sense. They cannot fathom all the times when it won’t.