Myth: “Gun Control Laws Only Affect Law-abiding Citizens”.
Myth: “Gun control laws only affect law-abiding citizens. Criminals can just ignore gun control laws.”
This can be easily disproved. Background checks, like in the Brady Law, do not prohibit law-abiding citizens from buying guns, but they do succeed at making it much harder for a criminal to get a firearm.
In 1999 alone, nation-wide background checks combined with waiting periods, stopped 200,000 gun sales to felons and other prohibited people. Read about it here.
The Brady Law was intended to make it harder for criminals to easily obtain a gun but background checks have had the added effect of leading to the arrest of many felons who tried to illegally buy a gun. Many prohibited people were apprehended by state and local law enforcement officials, for charges like submitting false information when buying a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm by someone facing domestic abuse charges, and possession of a firearm while under a restraining order. Read more about it here.
According to an NBC News report, a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigations said that in the first 6 months that the Brady law was in effect, about 30% of gun applicants had criminal histories causing them to be rejected. About 1000 of them were wanted on criminal charges or out on bail. That’s 5 wanted criminals a day put away by the Brady law.
The Brady Law is a great example of a gun control law that has a direct impact on criminals while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Image Credit: Graphic by Ben Jackson ’11, www.brophybroncos.org