FBI Data Shows Criminals Won’t Be Caught In Gun Grab Dragnet


How many bad guys do you think try to buy guns from licensed dealers, the retailers whom Congress wants to slap with further restrictions on instant verifications for gun sales? How many criminals are getting access to their guns via “traditional,” on-the-grid avenues, initiating transactions that route them through background checks designed to ensure those very creeps aren’t the ones who can get their hands on firearms?

One-fourth? Ten percent? Five?

Try less than 1 percent. In fact, it’s less than half of 1 percent. Since 1998, there have been 590,070 attempts by convicts — guilty of both felonies and misdemeanors — to buy firearms from gun dealers who must check their criminal past on the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system. That’s out a total of 167,488,942 background checks done on all gun sales for the same period.

Both sets of figures come straight from the FBI. Hat tip to CNS News for doing a little arithmetic: Those 590,070 convicts who tried to buy a gun through legitimate means represent a mere .35 percent of all gun-buy attempts over the past 14 years.

Senate Democrats busied themselves Wednesday trying to scrounge up enough votes to move ahead with an amendment to the laughably-titled Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act, one that would close the so-called “gun show loophole” by mandating background checks on firearms transactions between private individuals.

They lost, with the amendment failing to pass in a 54-46 vote. Without the amendment’s approval, the whole Act’s chances of making it through the early days of the Democrat-controlled 113th Congress likely will be sunk.

Complicating matters more for supporters of the Gun Grab Act was the introduction of an “alternative” gun control bill Wednesday by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas). That bill may have its critics, once pundits from the right and left have a chance to pore through its language; but a rundown of the bill’s highlights indicates, at least in spirit, a piece of legislation written with the understanding that criminals, by definition, can’t be touched by draconian gun laws that serve only to restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens.

Highlights of the Grassley-Cruz bill include:

  • No expansion of the existing NICS background check system.
  • Creating a task force to prosecute those who fail criminal background checks when attempting to buy guns.
  • Requiring the U.S. Department of Justice to report to Congress periodically on its prosecution of those who attempt to buy guns illegally.
  • Making third-party “straw purchase” trafficking illegal.

For the most part, the bill looks, at first glance, to target government and law enforcement agencies already tasked with enforcing existing laws instead of going after individual citizens with expanded Federal restrictions. Cruz couched the bill just so at a Wednesday morning press conference:

Rather than restricting the rights of law-abiding Americans, we should be focusing on keeping guns out of the hands of violent criminals, which this legislation accomplishes. While the Obama Administration continues to politicize a terrible tragedy to push its anti-gun agenda, I am proud to stand beside my fellow senators to present common-sense measures that will increase criminal prosecutions of felons who try to buy guns, criminalize straw purchasing and gun trafficking, and address mental health issues.

Sounds fair. But these bills have a way of coming out of committee — if they get off the ground at all — looking far different than they did going in, and Cruz may yet be criticized for introducing any “alternative” that even smells like gun control — regardless of its publicity value — when simple opposition to the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act would have served the original 2nd Amendment very well.

The Grassley-Cruz amendment was up for a Senate vote late Wednesday, so stay tuned.

UPDATE: The Senate defeated the Grassley-Cruz amendment in a 52-48 vote late Wednesday, as well as a ban on “straw trafficking” by a 58-42 margin.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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  • Mike in MI

    Of course it won’t inhibit the ability of criminals to obtain arms. Just like nothing happening in the U. S. Justice System under Sex’y Holder is ever going to exact anything JUST on those who deserve it.
    Mark my words, when the PRESENTDINK in the U.S. of A. says he’s going to do everything possible on his end to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice and do whatever is needed to correct the situation – – – , well … how’s Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey and Gov. Cuomo in N.Y. doing on O’blama – lama -FOE -fama – lamar – lamar – king – krammer – dinga – dammer’s kind of PROMISE? Talk About Quick Response!!! Whoe-ee-ee Whoop!!! Dead on the minute … yes, siree.

    Dead,,, er-r-r, sumpthin’.

    So, he takes another vacation thru Chicago to take care of Things On his End…in which ever end he owes at the moment. That, therefore, satisfies his responsibility on his end.

    When you put people like this in positions of power you can expect that farcical decisions will proceed from a reprobate mind. Reprobate minds inhabit the crania of those who do the things he do in Chi-town and on AF #1.

    People in our “Justice” system have been favoring and setting free the kinds of people who harbor the same kinds of spirits they harbor. “Birds of a feather'” ya’ know?

    If you go back and read CAREFULLY you’ll find the Hebrew people were brought to wrack and ruin by this sort.

    How far do you want to go before we also…?

  • chocopot

    Only a liar or a self-delusional fool could ever believe for even a moment that the grand plan is anything other than the complete disarmament of the American people. To support that statement, just go on the internet and read the transcripts of, and watch the videos of, people like Obama, Feinstein, Schumer, Holder, and all the other commies explaining how their real goal is to confiscate all firearms. I don’t have to make it up since they have all told us their plans.

  • Right Brain Thinker

    Aren’t we missing the point here? The criminals will always behave as criminals and evade the laws. The shooters at Aurora, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook were not classic “bad guys”—–they were nut cases. Better background checks might keep guns out of the hands of the next nut case. I wonder what the outcome of that knife attack at that school in TX would have been if that nut case had used a gun? Instead of “14 wounded, only one seriously”, we could have been looking at a “score” like Sandy Hook or Va Tech

    • Mike in MI

      They were according to various accounts typical liberals, nut cases, however you want to diagnoses them.
      It’s a virulent mental disease.

      • Right Brain Thinker

        Grow up.

    • chocopot

      No, you are missing the point. Criminals and those with evil intent do not often obtain their guns through legal channels and therefore will not be undergoing a background check. As for mental health records being examined, that opens up a can of worms that we would best leave alone. For example, say you went to a psychologist when you were a teen because you were having a tough time adjusting to growing up, as so many do. Will you be labelled mentally unfit to own a firearm because you went to a psychologist back when? Or say you and the missus are having some problems, so you go to a marriage counselor (many of whom are psychologists) to work it out with some help. Will you be labelled mentally unfit to own a firearm because you went to a psychologist? And here is another one. There are many medications whose primary use is for psychological issues (but not psychotropic), but which have secondary and entirely unrelated uses (e.g., there are antidepressants that are used to help sufferers of migraine headaches). If the record shows you took such a drug, like the antidepressant I just mentioned, will you be labelled mentally unfit to own a firearm? Do we really want to go that route?

      • Right Brain Thinker

        I missed a point? Did I not say right off that “The criminals will always behave as criminals and evade the laws”?

        In view of the damage that firearms do daily in this country, there needs to be SOME attention paid to the issue of “fitness” to own firearms. Just like driving a car—-one must pass written and performance tests to be licensed to drive.

        The small-time straw men you have lined up here lead one to the conclusion that you DO support the right to bear arms for nut cases like those that were responsible for Aurora, Sandy Hook, and Va Tech.

        Is that your intent? Do you really want to go THAT route?

        • chocopot

          You keep missing it. The Second Amendment makes no allowance for terms, conditions, restrictions, or limitations. That is how it was intended to be. You speak of “the damage that firearms do daily in this country.” Did you ever read of all the lives saved daily by the fact that average people possess firearms? No, of course not, since the media have an agenda and don’t want you to know. Every study done, and there are many, show that firearms prevent far more crimes than they are involved in perpetrating – in fact, several times at least. As for your NUT cases, if someone is clearly a nut case, then they need to be brought before a judge with medical specialists to testify and locked up as a danger to the public and/or themselves. Until that happens, they are regular citizens wtih all the rights of other citiizens. We do not need politicians passing judgment on people so their rights can be arbitrarily forfeited. In some parts of the country, commission of some ridiculous misdemeanors can result in forfeiture of the person’s Seoicnd Amendment rights. That is not what the Constitution ever intended.

          • Right Brain Thinker

            No, chocopot, you can’t keep insisting that the second amendment stands completely alone among all the provisions of the Constitution, and can have NO modification or regulation—-no “terms, conditions, restrictions, or limitations”, as you put it… Even the conservative judges of the present Supreme Court recognize that it does NOT imply that and have said so in the recent PRO gun decisions—-have you read those decisions?.

            The straw man of “lives saved” is another “motto” that will not become true the more times it is repeated—there are no reliable figures on that—the studies are weak. (And please don’t cite a KlecK “study”). It is a FACT that “gun damage” occurs, and we have data on that from many sources.

            It is unfortunate that we sometimes don’t know someone is a nut case until after they have killed 20 or 30 people with a gun. And I wonder if you even recognize how many of the Bill of Rights would be in danger if we went after EVERYBODY in the way you suggest just because you don’t want to have any scrutiny of potential gun buyers. Who decides who is “clearly” a nut case? We have been turning nut cases loose in this enlightened country for decades, not locking them up. We don’t want convicted felons to have guns, why shouldn’t we at least look at other potential disqualifiers, like being a nut case?.

            You say, “In some parts of the country, commission of some ridiculous misdemeanors can result in forfeiture of the person’s Second Amendment rights”? Really? Tell us about it. I think that’s just more of the parroting of the anti-gun control “talking points”. I am a gun owner and I worry that people like you who refuse to understand that you just can’t stamp your feet and get your way forever are going to F it up for all of us. It may take a few more years and more Sandy Hooks, but it will happen—common sense gun control is inevitable—-wait too long and it may be more “control” than “common sense”..

          • chocopot

            I will not waste any more time on you. Like most Lefties, facts and truth that do not support your agenda are ignored or called lies. Go crawl back under your rock…

          • Right Brain Thinker

            Yes, choco, use the old debate technique called “abandonment of discussion”. You can’t argue from a basis of fact and rationality, so you just call me a few names, declare victory in your own deluded mind, and run off the ‘field of battle” to hide. YOU have crawled under a figurative “rock”, choco—–stay under there and lick your wounds. And just because you think you are a “rightie”, the fact that I don’t agree with you does NOT make me a “leftie”—-all it shows is that you are so confused and misinformed that you can’t really tell the left from the right.

          • chocopot

            Actually, that is typical left-wing strategy. I already responded to all of your questions, claims, and points, but you want me to do it again. I have no time for that. I did not abandon the discussion – you want me to keep saying the same thing over and over. I do not have the time. There are numerous confirmed studies that make it rock solid clear that, as John Lott has stated over and over, “More guns equals less crime.” Because that does not go along with your fantasies that more guns make things more dangerous, you simply dismiss decades’ long confirmed studies. Facts are facts even if you don’t like them. The information is out there – go look for it yourself.

          • Right Brain Thinker

            If it’s a lefty strategy, why are you using it? Yeah, it’s not true that I want you to do it, but the only arguments you have are to “say the same mindless things over and over again”—-thank you for proving my point. More guns equals less crime is NOT the issue here—-I’ve been talking about “gun damage” and the deaths at Aurora, Sandy Hook, and Va Tech—-why are you changing the subject?

            Ir’s YOUR fantasy that the argument of “more guns makes things more dangerous” is used by me or anyone else on the left—-that’s just another made up talking point to parrot.

            “numerous confirmed studies”?—“rock solid clear”?—-one thing that IS “confirmed” through “numerous studies” is that confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, and motivated reasoning are epidemic among the “thinkers” like you on the far right. That’s “rock solid clear”.

            (and I thought you had abandoned the field, choc—-why are you still here saying the same thing over and over if you don’t have the time?)

          • chocopot

            Why don’t you stuff it, you sanctimonious moron? It is not worth wasting time trying to converse with a half-wit like you.

  • KroekerMom

    I’m glad the amendment failed. Making straw purchases could make it illegal for a spouse to by a gun for their spouse or for family members to give a gun to a family member at Christmas. I’m sure that isn’t what they intended, but the current Justice System would definitely stretch the meaning to go after gun friendly families.

    Also, the amendment had (at least originally) a requirement that states send in mental health info for individuals or they would get less money from the federal government. It required psychiatrist to send in mental health info. This could allow anyone who had visited a councilor or psychiatrist to be put on the list of people who could not buy guns. There are some individuals that have serious mental health issues and probably shouldn’t have guns, but that isn’t most people who have sought counciling. This would make people less likely to get help and likely create more problem people. If would also take away the right of defense for many individuals that should retain their rights. The only way someone’s rights should be taken away is if they are convicted of a crime by a jury or if there is a jury trial that convicts him of being unsafe to himself and others.