Letters to the Editor

Letter: Background check facts

I don’t read the ADN every day, but the two letters published on Wednesday indicate that there was some bad information published in an earlier letter, written by Charles Brobst, that should be clarified.

Apparently, Mr. Brobst stated something about the “rigors of background checks” for the sale of firearms. Either he is being deliberately misleading or he is ignorant of the fact that “background checks” are only required when the sale is being conducted by a firearms dealer, licensed by the U.S. government.

The widely believed and pushed idea that the purchaser of every gun sold in the U.S. is scrutinized by “doctors, psychologists, the legal system, the military and others” cannot be more false. Any citizen who owns a lawful firearm can put an ad in this newspaper’s want ads and sell that gun to any citizen, with no questions being asked beyond, “Do you have the cash?” and will not have broken any laws for doing it.

Imagine a person with evil intent being turned down at a gun shop due to a failed background check, turning to the newspaper to purchase a gun advertised for sale there. Any gun. Any caliber. Any style. It happens regularly and, as a gun owner who has sold guns, including semiautomatic handguns to people I don’t know at all, I think it is important for everyone to understand this and know what people mean when we say that “universal background checks” is one way to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.

— Jim O’Toole

Anchorage

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