an member station
Mark Glaze, Director, Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Pat Hickey, Nevada Assemblyman
BY AMY KINGSLEY -- Members of the Nevada Assembly are considering whether to pull the trigger on a bill that would require background checks for the private sales of firearms.
Here’s how it would work: The buyer and seller would meet at a gun store, where the buyer would have to pass a background check to complete the transaction.
Supporters say that this would subject private transactions to the same standards that apply to sales in gun stores. But critics allege that the bill is too intrusive.
Assemblyman Pat Hickey said he likes parts of the bill, but he will not vote for it because it would allow the government to keep tabs on gun owners.
“It becomes, in effect, a gun registration bill that law-abiding people resist or even resent,” says Hickey.
Republicans may present a compromise that will keep the requirement that authorities do a better job of reporting people with mental illness to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Mark Glaze, Director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, says background checks are vital for safety.
States with comprehensive background checks have fewer shootings of women by domestic partners and lower rates of suicide, Glaze said.
Those who say that it is too inconvenient to go to a gun store for a background check are wrong, he said.
“Ninety-eight-point-four percent of Americans live within 10 miles of a gun dealer. There are about twice as many gun dealers as there are post offices in this country. So actually it’s a lot easier to go down to a gun dealer and get a background check than it is to buy stamps.”
Background checks have prevented 2 million sales of firearms to people who are too dangerous to own weapons, Glaze said. Expanding the system is a reasonable way to keep more guns out of the wrong hands.