In their quest for further restrictions on gun ownership in the United States, liberals have claimed that current laws are not effective enough in preventing ineligible citizens from buying firearms.
A report, however, from the federal government showed that the problem hasn’t been the laws themselves, but rather the people who have refused to enforce them, such as the darling of liberal gun control proponents: former President Barack Obama.
Daniel D. Roberts, a former Assistant Director of the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division, told The Daily Caller that more than 100,000 people each year attempt to buy guns even though they’re precluded from doing so due to their criminal background.
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“When I was there, it was running around 100,000 a year of firearm purchasers that tried to go through to buy guns. I think it’s more than 100,000 now,” he said. “That should trigger a referral to the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for investigation for lying on the forms.”
An Inspector General’s report from June 2016 revealed that between 2008 and 2015, federal prosecutors only received 509 cases of individuals who had lied on their ATF Form 4473.
The form asks questions designed to identify whether a person is prohibited by federal law from possessing a firearm due to certain criminal convictions, mental illness, dishonorable discharge from the military or substance addiction.
Although providing false information on form 4473 is a federal crime, Obama’s Justice Department only considered prosecuting roughly 30 subjects per year — less than one percent of the 100,000 criminals Roberts indicated were trying to illegally purchase firearms.
The Inspector General report found that federal prosecutors during this eight-year period generally held the view that “prosecuting subjects for false statements on a firearm application absent other aggravating circumstances may not be the best use of Department resources.”
We have recently seen what happens when the government doesn’t enforce common-sense laws already on the books, what with the tragic Sutherland Springs, Texas shooting on Nov. 5.
Devin Patrick Kelley opened fire at the First Baptist Church, killing 26 people and wounding 20 others. The 38-year-old met at least three specific conditions that should have denied him a gun.
In 2012, Kelley fled from the Peak Behavioral Health Services hospital in New Mexico where he was sent for a serious mental illness condition after being court-martialed by the Air Force on charges of assaulting his wife and child, according to CNN.
After pleading guilty to the charges, he spent a year in military prison, and was given a bad conduct discharge.
Kelley, however, lied on his ATF form, and because his background wasn’t properly reported to the federal database that licensed gun dealers are required to check before selling someone a firearm, Kelley was able to purchase four guns from 2013 to 2017.
Yet he wasn’t prosecuted, just like countless others who have lied on their forms but evaded being held accountable because the Obama administration didn’t want to spend resources on enforcing the law.
After all, it’s much easier to get on your soapbox and blame conservatives for mass shootings instead of taking responsibility for your own contributions to the problem.
We don’t have to limit law-abiding citizens from owning guns; we simply have to enforce the laws that prevent certain, restricted people from doing so. Not just to stop them from obtaining firearms, but also to send a message to anyone else who may want to lie to get around those laws.
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