It Is Time for Common Sense on Illegal Guns

A few months back, the FBI announced that violent crime increased at its highest rate in 15 years. There were 17,000 homicides in the United States in 2005, a jump of nearly 5%.

So what is Congressional leadership's response to this national crisis? To defy common sense and make it even easier for criminals to buy guns.

Just this week, the House passed legislation to protect corrupt gun dealers. This legislation, HR 5092, ties the hands of the ATF in its dealings with the 1% of gun dealers responsible for the guns used in nearly 60% of crimes. We should be giving the ATF the tools to crack down on corrupt and negligent gun dealers, but this legislation makes it harder to revoke their licenses. The bill relaxes recordkeeping requirements by no longer requiring dealers to properly maintain records.

Even if the ATF is able to revoke a corrupt gun dealer's license, this bill gives the dealer 60 days to sell off his remaining inventory. This defies all common sense. It's like revoking the license of a tavern that repeatedly serves under-aged drinkers, but allowing it to stay open until all its liquor is sold.

It's time for common sense gun laws. We can cut down on violent crime without infringing on anybody's second amendment rights. We can reduce killings without hurting any responsible gun dealers business.
First, we need to fix the National Instant Background Check System (NICS), the database used to conduct background checks on gun buyers. Currently, 28 states have entered less than 75% of their felony data into NICS. My bill, HR 1415, would give grants to states to makes sure 90% of their felony convictions are entered into the NICS database.

Next, closing the gun show loophole will shut down a main source of where illegal gun traffickers buy their guns. Those purchasing guns at gun shows should face the same scrutiny as someone in a gun store or online.

And we should be making sure those on terrorist watch lists can't buy guns. If we don't trust someone to board a plane, we shouldn't allow them to buy an AK-47, Tec-9, or other handheld weapon of mass destruction either.

These are all common sense ideas that will stop violent crime and not prevent one law-abiding citizen from purchasing a gun.

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