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The Firearm Background Check
While the right to possess firearms is a lawful right bestowed upon US citizens as per the 2nd Amendment of the US constitution, in a bid to both regulate and reduce the chances of abuse of that right, a number of safeguards are employed to prevent firearm offences being committed. Therefore, any person who wishes to purchase a firearm in the US, who wishes to purchase a firearm from a licensed dealer, must submit to a firearm background check and have a clean record in order to be lawfully entitled to a firearm.
There are two classes of people who are automatically denied the right to purchase a firearm and they are:
-persons who have been convicted of a felony
-people who have been dishonourably discharged from the armed services.
What are guns? Nothing more than tools, and so are only as dangerous as the people who possess and use them, and so the purpose of a firearm background check is to ensure that those categories of people in society that pose the greatest risk in terms of having access to a firearm should not be allowed to exercise their 2nd Amendment right. The above two categories of persons are automatically denied for precisely this reason, statistically speaking, the above two categories of persons are the most likely to be involved in either the commission of a criminal offence, or an accident involving a firearm.
To say that a firearm background check can eliminate firearm offences completely is both unfair and untrue, although it would be equally as unfair to underestimate the important value such checks have. They are a very effective precaution and means of both managing and minimising risk, and given the inherent risks that surround firearms, this can only ever be a positive thing indeed. There can be no denying of the fact that there are alternative routes for people disqualified from owning a firearm to acquire one, however, people who attempt to do so are also placing themselves at significant risk of being arrested and imprisoned.
Whilst a firearm background check has been around for a long period of time, it only became truly effective with the passing of freedom of information act whereby international databases for criminal records were made public and anyone who wanted to could access them to obtain a person's background record. This was a significant improvement from the previous system that required a firearm dealer to get in contact with their local police station to determine a personís background. The fatal flaw in this process was that the police station would only have access to any crimes that person had committed within that particular jurisdiction or state, thereby allowing people who ought not to have access to firearms to be able to get their hands on one.
There are now entire companies dedicated to carrying out a firearm background check, and an entire industry has developed around it. Perhaps this can be regarded as a positive step, as people become more socially conscious and aware.
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