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WATCH: Mark Kelly Buys A Gun, Demonstrates Ease Of Background Check

Memo Pad Politics

WATCH: Mark Kelly Buys A Gun, Demonstrates Ease Of Background Check


Americans for Responsible Solutions, the pro-gun safety group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, has released a new web video showing exactly how simple a background check is for a law-abiding gun buyer.

In the video, Kelly uses a pocket camera to record himself buying a handgun and undergoing a background check at a local gun store. The entire process takes about five minutes — hardly a nightmare scenario for civil liberties, as the NRA has suggested.

“A universal background check is the most common-sense thing we can do to prevent criminals and the mentally ill from getting easy access to the gun,” Kelly says after purchasing the weapon.

Earlier this month, Kelly purchased an assault weapon from the same gun store, in an effort to prove how easy it is to buy a semi-automatic rifle. The owner of the store ended up canceling the purchase after Kelly made it clear that he was not buying the gun for his own personal use. That shouldn’t be an issue with Kelly’s new handgun, which he and Giffords make plans to shoot at the end of the video.

Driving away from the gun store, Kelly notes that there was “not much on the shelves as far as inventory’s concerned,” explaining that the owner told him that “panic buying” was stripping his shelves clean.

“Kind of hard for me to understand exactly why” that would be, Kelly adds, “because there’s no real threat on anybody’s Second Amendment rights.”

Despite that fact, universal background checks are in serious danger of dying in Congress. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has pledged to advance gun safety legislation including background checks to a vote in early April, but such a measure will almost certainly face a 60-vote threshold for consideration. With almost no Republican support and several Democratic holdouts, Reid does not currently appear to have the numbers to move the legislation forward.

Additionally, a new CBS News poll finds that, although support for universal background checks is still a near-unanimous 90 percent, support for stricter gun laws in general has dropped to 47 percent — down from 57 percent directly after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. So while there is still a broad popular consensus favoring the adoption of universal background checks, it appears that the longer Congress waits to act, the more difficult it will be for advocates like Kelly to marshal popular support.

Henry Decker

Henry Decker was formerly the Managing Editor of The National Memo. He is currently an Online Associate at MRCampaigns.

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  1. tobyspeeks March 28, 2013

    Contrary to what Fox News and the teabillies want you to believe, no one wants to take away your guns.

  2. whodatbob March 28, 2013

    Universal background checks are a great idea. All licensed dealers are required to do background checks on a buyers. Licensed dealers are equiped to processs Federal background checks. It becomes difficult when the sale is between private parties. The seller must find a dealer willing to process the background check.

  3. Pamby50 March 28, 2013

    After watching that video, I was just amazed. A little over 5 minutes for a back ground check. If the NRA believes a back ground check infringes on there rights to own a gun, they need to be quiet. That ad should go viral. It should be sent to every one in congress with a question, “Really? This is what you are objecting to?”

    1. DEFENDER88 March 28, 2013

      Most gun owners are for enhanced background checks.
      But *State* run. NOT FED run.
      I would even like to see a phych test included.

      The “rub” is this:
      Background checks are now handled by the States with help from the FBI in determining the felon etc status of purchasers.
      But the Fed does not maintain a universal data base of Gun owners and the guns they have.
      That info is available at the state level.

      So if the enhanced system were to be handled by the states like now that would be ok.

      But – gun owners do not want and fear a “Universal” system ie data base kept and run by the FED as being a giant leap toward the next step desired by many progressives – that being – Confiscation of all firearms.

      Hence the panic buying of guns and ammo that has been rampant since Sandy Hook.
      Ammo is now bought up as soon as it hits a store. People actually are waiting in line to get it.
      Production is at an all time high but demand has skyrocketed due to all the talk(like in here) about bans, confiscation, etc.
      It actually has nothing to do with the NRA. It is just basic supply and demand.
      Try convincing people to buy something they dont think they need or many need or want.
      I dont think the NRA can do that. It is not NRA driven it is market force driven.

      To break the deadlock – My compromise would be an enhanced standard system including a psyco test developed by the FED but run by the states like it is now, with help from the FBI.

      Also many people feel a FED run program would be like so many others and end up hurting those it is intended to help.

      But since I have yet to find a true progressive who will listen to anything a gun owner has to say I guess we will continue to deadlock on this. In fact I have had some essentially call me a baby killer just because I own a gun.

      Many say “no one is coming for your guns”.
      Then call you a baby killer just for owning one.
      And meanwhile – Feinstein proposes a bill(like the old one that expired but “improved?”) in congress to Ban rifles and includes a confiscation component in it.
      Makes gun owners say – well we see where this is going.

      So you get panic buying, like now and resistance to *universal* background checks – Federally Run anyway(the way it is being proposed and perceived).


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