Study: Many fall through cracks in gun background checks
Fri, 18 Nov 2011 13:55:20 GMT —
Thousands of people supposedly barred from purchasing guns are still getting them. That's according to a study by the group Mayors against Illegal Guns.
Many of those individuals of those are people with mental health illnesses. Like Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter in the assassination attempt against Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
Even local gun rights advocates say the news is nothing new.
"They're stating something that has been fairly well known especially in the firearms community for quite a while, that there are gaps in the national instant criminal background check system," said Chuck Turney of GeorgiaCarry.org. Turney says most of the problem isn't in background checks, but rather agencies that should be reporting mental health issues but aren't.
"A lot of the medical professionals don't feel that reporting a patient's status goes along with their Hippocratic Oath to that patient's privacy so they may not report it for that reason," said Turney.
"It asks if you are mentally disabled. If yes then you don't go any further with the background check. If you've actually got a history and have been documented then you can't get a gun," said Jason Sheffield, owner of Dawson Rd. Pawn.
Sheffield says background checks are pretty thorough if they're properly updated. But even if someone passes he is the last fail safe.
"If we see somebody might be intoxicated. If they're on drugs, if they act the least little bit like they shouldn't have a gun, then we don't even attempt to sell it to them," says Sheffield.