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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We all know how the NICS system is supposed to work as well as the punishment for violating the application disclaimer. It is a Federal offense with some very real consequences... or are they?

In a letter from my Rep. Ron Johnson (R-WI) he had this to say.

"That's why I supported the common sense proposal from Sen. Chuck Grassley. Forty-two other Republicans and nine Democrats supported it because it would have strengthened the enforcement of our current laws. In 2010, 73,000 individuals failed the current background checks — 48,000 of them were felons or fugitives. Only 62 cases were sent to prosecutors. Only 44 were actually prosecuted. The legislation I supported would have helped put these gun-seeking criminals in jail.
In contrast, the president's attempt to pressure Americans into supporting ill-considered gun control is a classic example of Washington's misguided intrusion into our lives. If the president and his supporters were truly serious about moving in a positive direction, once their proposal failed, they would have voted for the bipartisan alternative I supported."

Not that any new law will really help, but it illuminates a very interesting conundrum:

If it's sole purpose is to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands, in theory, then why the penalties for violating the appllication law?

Now the other side of this is to ask what about the other 34 THOUSAND denials? How many were erroneous errors? How many were legitimate denials where the individuals didn't know they were to be denied beforehand?

If these are not being taken into consideration, then what is the real purpose of the NICS system (as if we don't know) and when will others accept it's fallibility?


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20,637 Posts
You've identified a classic flaw with most gun control laws - they only inhibit the law-abiding.

My "ah-ha moment" was when I attended an emergency gun-control debate back in CT. Lord Weicker was governor then, and a little kid had been shot on a school bus while some Bridgeport drug dealers were having a shootout in broad daylight. During testimony and discussion, the Chief of the Bridgeport PD was asked about what happens to gun charges when criminals are caught. He testified that most gun charges are either dropped altogether or plea-bargained down to some trivial offense, because the prosecutors found gun charges were too difficult to prove. The next question was along the lines of "well, what about the Federal gun law violations?" The answer was worse: Federal prosecutors (at least at the time) couldn't be bothered with "trivial" gun crimes committed by street hoods, instead saving their efforts for going after bigger fish. Rather sickening to think that more gun laws were being demanded, yet the available ones weren't being prosecuted. Kinda like a spoiled kid in a room full of toys whining for yet another toy.

If gun owners would marshal our resources and loudly and publicly demand prosecution of gun law violators - and I'm not talking about statutory violations - we might actually get some traction with legislators.
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