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I think I came up with a way to improve BG checks. Your thoughts.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by csspecs, May 3, 2013.

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  1. csspecs

    csspecs Well-Known Member

    I've been thinking since the theater shooting of a way to filter out people who have mental problems from firearms transactions.. Maybe not a 100% effective method, but would increase the odds significantly.

    Idea comes from rental agreements and other forms in common use. Also common on CCW applications. So its not completely foreign to existing documents.

    Add a 'reference' line on current 4473.
    Buyer adds a few phone numbers of people who know him well, and the buyer could even contact ahead of time.
    Dealer calls, asks the person who picks up if they know buyer, and asks if they feel that the buyer is mentally stable and fit to own a firearm. They answer 'yes' and give their name for the form to confirm they had been contacted.

    The buyer could even be accompanied at the store by their reference. Like family or friends out shopping.

    Why this could be effective:
    Most of the past few crazed murderers had alienated their friends and family, had been acting crazy but as of yet had not done anything illegal or been committed.

    Still working on possible negatives but figured if there is a major issue I've missed you all should be able to find them quickly.

    A few obvious issues:
    The buyer could arrange a person to answer falsely that they are sane. I'd assume the vast majority could not be bribed into giving a false answer.

    A family member or friend could answer no due to their political views. Most of us know who we would use, shooting buddy or gun friendly family member.

    It could be a huge hassle on the FFL end.

    It would not solve events like Sandy hook, as the buyer met all standards.

    Please feel free to shoot this full of holes. I only post it because its been on my mind for a long time, and I'd love to know it won't work.
  2. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

    What happens if the person is new to the area, or has no surviving family? And how many of the mass-killings in the last decade involved one or more people working in cahoots? The Second Amendment is a RIGHT, not a privilege. It is NOT subjective.
  3. morcey2

    morcey2 Well-Known Member

    You're still working off the flawed assumption that BG checks would have any effect on criminals/mentally ill. You stated that there are trivial ways around it for criminals. Now instead of inconveniencing a single law abiding citizen, you're irritating a couple of others that may or may not have any semblance of judgment with regard to the purchaser.

    No. Criminals won't obey it (thus being outlaws) and even the most severely mentally ill have a couple of friends who would vouch for them. Who's going to background check them?

  4. Solo

    Solo Well-Known Member

    What if someone has just alienated their friends and family by being personally unpleasant?
  5. alsaqr

    alsaqr Well-Known Member

    Why should any law abiding US citizen be required to supply references in order to buy a gun? This flys in the face of the US Constitution.
  6. InkEd

    InkEd Well-Known Member

    Absolutely ridiculous idea.
  7. Solo

    Solo Well-Known Member

    Let me propose an alternative plan to deal with the mentally ill:

    How about we, as a society, stop stigmatizing mental illness and make mental healthcare more accessible to troubled individuals?
  8. Steve51

    Steve51 Well-Known Member

    You already mentioned one big reason I am absolutely against it - more work for FFL's. Just leave everything alone on the Federal level. If all states would allow open carry and conceal carry and do away with gun free zones, most of the problems will go away.
  9. r1derbike

    r1derbike Well-Known Member

  10. csspecs

    csspecs Well-Known Member

    All good points.

    I'd say that most people I know that are being personally unpleasant to the point of driving away family are likely not stable at that point in life.
    Is that something normal mentally healthy people do?

    A criminal is not doing a background check anyway. There is no way to filter their transactions. Do people who become murderously crazed have deep connections to the criminal underworld?

    A person with no family or friends is an option I had not considered. No idea how to correct that. The number of people who had partner is smaller then lone wolves, but the number of attacks with two or more is small.

    The reference declining to say yes would not stop you from ever buying a gun again. It would just delay the sale and possibly alert family or friends of someone who has been having mental problems that action must be taken.

    But I'm seeing that its unlikely such a option would function in the real world.

    Since I have my answer I'll request the thread be deleted.
  11. mrvco

    mrvco Well-Known Member

    For $20, Guido will answer his cell phone and say "yeah, he's good to go".

    Not to mention the liability implications for the person used as a reference... especially if they're not a trained mental health professional.


    (worst idea ever)
  12. denton

    denton Well-Known Member

    How about we have purchasers self certify that they are not felons, not using illegal drugs, not dishonorably discharged, and not adjudicated as a danger to themselves or others, ditch the background check completely, and dedicate the resources needed to put people who falsely certify in jail?

    If prohibited persons knew that there was one chance in 10 of going to jail for lying on the certificate, it would probably be less ineffective than the current situation.
  13. csspecs

    csspecs Well-Known Member

    Would that not also require that a federal employee go through each form? Because I'd prefer the current system to that.

    The only reason for a reference, is that times exist that the information on hand is not up to date.. Like in FL there is a 60-90 day delay, and many documents are never added at all.
    A family member in contact with the buyer would know more of their current situation then any database with missing data.
  14. HankR

    HankR Well-Known Member

    This. The proposed system infringes even more than the existing system.
  15. morcey2

    morcey2 Well-Known Member


    If you got a phone call from an FFL asking for a reference on a friend who was "murderously crazed" to buy a gun, are you going to say that he can't buy it knowing that he's murderously crazed? Most people who are murderously crazed don't get their guns legally either. They're still stolen. Those that are bought legally are usually gotten prior to them becoming "crazed". You're asking the average person to make a judgement call that we're not even allowing trained professionals to make at this point.

    You're so friggin' off base it isn't even funny anymore.

  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    This is a seriously flawed way to check out anyone for anything.
  17. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Well-Known Member

    What makes "close friends," or "family" qualified to diagnose someone's mental condition? They have a right to an opinion of course, but based on what?

    And I will again point out that so far, the Democrats have refused to consider any system that doesn't require private sales or other transfers to be brokered through a federally licensed dealer.

    It's not the background check they're interested in, it's a 4473 form and the start of a paper trail. Eventually down the road they want to use the information on those forms to construct a data base with extensive information not only on the gun owner but also the details concerning what they own.

    Then they can move forward toward what they're goal really is.
  18. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    Asked and answered. Closed at OP request.
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