Posts Tagged ‘automatic weapons’

Known To Be Violent and Mentally Disturbed, the Parkland MSD High School Killer Passed His Background Check. So Did 81% of Mass Killers Since 1998. What Does This Tell Us About Background Checks?

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

February 28, 2018

by Elliot Fineman

Founder and CEO

National Gun Victims Action Council  

 

The principle discussed below is part of a series excerpted from my book to be published in June 2018 about four simple steps to stop the totality of the gun violence epidemic now and keep our children safe. Note: the steps do not depend on asking/persuading federal lawmakers to do the right things––we know they won’t. The steps will FORCE them to.

 

Two things: 1) Background checks as they exist are seriously flawed. 2) While we need to have a background check for every gun sold, (currently that is not the case) We need a new type of background check––both expanded and comprehensive.

 

For the background check we conduct today, the name of a would-be gun purchaser is run through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)––the database of prohibited purchasers maintained by the FBI. It includes, among others, felons, domestic abusers and people with adjudicated mental disabilities. If they are not on the list, they pass and can buy a gun(s); if they are on the list they cannot.

 

Sounds simple enough but the reality is the database is missing millions of records.

 

For example, 71 million mental health records of people with serious mental disabilities should be in the NICS database but as of June 2017, there were only 4.5 million. States do not have to submit any prohibited purchaser data and past programs to incentivize them to submit data have met with minimal success.

 

Further, due to HIPAA, patient confidentiality and the potential for reprisal lawsuits, it is not realistic to expect that all the names of people with serious mental disabilities would be entered into the database.

WHAT WOULD AN EXPANDED AND COMPREHENSIVE BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM LOOK LIKE? It is a fail-safe system we already use—and have used for decades—for the purchase, sale and transfer of machine guns. Controlled by the National Firearms Act of 1934 every machine gun is registered—and every current machine gun owner or would-be purchaser (or relative to whom the machine gun owner might want to transfer the machine gun including his children) must go through an expanded, comprehensive background check.

 

This includes having to submit fingerprints and a photograph which is kept on file, a criminal record check, examination of local records, interviews with local law enforcement, neighborhood, school and work place acquaintances as well as an interview with the would-be purchaser.

 

Machine guns have not contributed to the gun violence epidemic. The major reason is the requirement for comprehensive background checks which ensure that criminals and people with mental disabilities cannot own or possess them.

 

Further, because there is a federal registry of machine gun owners, should a current owner become mentally disabled, this would be known and their machine gun(s) removed by local law enforcement.

 

Today’s background check system is flawed. Conducting more of them will do little to halt the gun violence epidemic. We need expanded, comprehensive background checks for all gun sales—they work and are clearly constitutional.

 

 

Elliot Fineman holds an engineering degree from MIT and has served as a strategic marketing consultant to Fortune 500 companies including top corporations like Accenture, KPMG and the Boston Consulting Group. Following the murder of his son in 2006 by a paranoid schizophrenic who had legally obtained the gun, he founded National Gun Victims Action Council.

 

National Gun Victims Action Council (NGVAC) is a non-profit network of gun victims, survivors, the faith community and ordinary people leveraging their buying power to change America’s gun laws. NGVAC initiated the successful action that caused Starbucks to change its gun policy. NGVAC pursues novel legal strategies to reduce gun violence and encourages corporate involvement.

 

“Function” Versus “Form”–Banning Bump Stocks

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

 

 

by Elliot Fineman

CEO – Founder

National Gun Victims Action Council

 

October 10, 2017

 

 

There is a lot of excitement today in the media and at a number of Gun Violence Prevention Groups though not at NGVAC. They are pleased to see some bi-partisanship support for banning bump stocks and to hear that the NRA has indicated it would support such an initiative. Many are pleased that any gun regulation at the federal level is being considered at all.

 

Bump stocks allow the conversion of semi-automatics––which can shoot 80 – 100 bullets per minute––to fully automatic which can shoot 600 – 800 bullets per minute. They are sold by gun dealers now—as are other devices that do the same thing. They are the most popular because they are the cheapest of the devices (costing between $100 and $200).

 

Actually, the NRA––which has blocked all gun safety laws for more than 40 years––has not suddenly become reasonable: it is up to its old tricks. The NRA has only agreed to have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) review bump stock regulations to prevent a congressional vote on the record for any federal gun control regulation. (The NRA always promotes its irrational “slippery slope” argument i.e., if we ban bump stocks it is the first step to “taking your guns away.”)

 

There is another reason the NRA prefers to deal with the ATF rather than Congress. It was the ATF that shockingly ruled in 2010 that bump stocks are not covered by any gun regulation because they are “parts.” Moreover, ATF rules can be overridden by executive actions unlike congressional actions.

 

However, if the ATF does not act and the fate of bump stocks is in the hands of Congress, the NRA has a second trick up its sleeve. It will offer to trade its “leniency” on bump stocks for passage of the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. This shocking bill would let gun owners with concealed carry permits issued in any state—including states that do not require training or permitting as a requirement for carrying— legally carry their weapons in any state.

 

At NGVAC we believe the gun violence prevention groups should avoid arguments with the pro- gunners and the NRA about the construct (form) of the gun and how to prevent it from being converted to a fully automatic. These are trivial issues to debate and are completely beside the point as you can see in this graphic.

 

 

 

The law that is needed is: no one can have a gun––whether semi-automatic, assault weapon, sporting rifle, handgun etc.—

that can shoot more than 10 bullets per minute. It is the function of the gun not the form that makes it so lethal. This means magazines cannot exceed 10 bullets and a ban on possession or sale of any adaptive devices that expand the limit of 10 bullets per minute.

 

How can we get a magazine limit of no more 10 bullets per minute passed at the federal level? How can we ban any conversion devices? I discuss this in depth in a book I am writing that will be available by early spring.

 

 


www.gunvictimsaction.org/donate

www.gunvictimsaction.org

 

Commemorate Newtown on Gun DEPRECIATION Day, January 20, 2013

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

If you lost your first grader on December 14, imagine hearing about the January 19th Gun Appreciation Day. Two days before Inauguration Day, which is also Martin Luther King Jr.”s birthday, gun lovers will descend upon gun shops, gun ranges and gun shows with Constitutions and American flags in hand to protest proposed new gun legislation. What?

Asked if such gun exultation doesn”t deepen the wounds of grieving Sandy Hook parents and families, the chairman of Gun Appreciation Day Larry Ward said that”s not the point. The point is President Obama, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein did it first and turnabout is fair play.They have “all exploited the tragedy to advance their legislation to infringe upon the Second Amendment,” he told ABC News.

Ward even has an answer for the event”s blasphemy of King who was himself a victim of gun violence. “I think Martin Luther King Jr. would agree with me if he were alive today that if African-Americans had been given the right to keep and bear arms from Day 1 of the country”s founding, perhaps slavery might not have been a chapter in our history,” he said in a TV interview.

What is a sane response to the aggressive commemorationof aggressionand disdain for murdered victims of Gun Appreciation Day? Activist artist Michael D’Antuono online casino has declared January 20, the day after Gun Appreciation Day Gun Depreciation Day. It is a day to email your representatives to demand more meaningful gun control laws and affirm that our obligation to protect children trumps the right to own assault weapons. You can find your local representative at here.

Michael D’Antuono will debut a painting called “Brought To You By The NRA” (attached) at the opening of The Newtown Project: A Call To Arms on the eve of the Presidential Inauguration. The exhibition is at the Charles Krause Reporting Fine Art Gallery, near the White House. Mr. Krause is himself a gun victim and was nearly killed by a weapon like the ones used at the Newtown shooting.

For more information about the art and related events see the The Newtown Project exhibition and http://www.ArtandResponse.com

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