On October 13 the Guardian reported that background check laws in Colorado and Washington state have proven a failure because citizens simply will not comply with them.
This means that after millions upon millions spent, political offices lost, and promises of a Utopian world with less gun crime made, the checks have been a bust.
According to The Guardian, the failure of these background check laws was discovered via research by Injury Prevention and it “is a setback for a growing gun control movement that has centered its national strategy on precisely the kind of state laws passed in Colorado and Washington.”
Guns have been sold privately in American since 1791–the year the Second Amendment was ratified. The push to mandate citizens undergo a background check for private gun sales is a Johnny-come-lately in American history, inasmuch as it began in the 1990s (and has made very little progress since). The adoption of universal backgrounds in Colorado in 2013 and Washington state in 2014 was met with great fanfare from the left; progress had finally been achieved.
But not really.
Opponents of the new laws in both Colorado and Washington had proudly advertised their noncompliance with the new regulations. In Washington, Wintemute and his co-authors noted, more than 1,000 gun rights supporters held an “I will not comply” demonstration at the state capitol where they reportedly flouted the newly passed law in public by transferring firearms to each other in full view of law enforcement. In Colorado, some sheriffs in more conservative rural areas reportedly said they would not enforce the new gun control law, and others that enforcement would simply be “a very low priority.”
Notice, the citizenry and law enforcement alike expressed little desire to comply with laws, which have now proven a waste of time.
The failure of these laws actually goes to the fact that universal background checks are unenforceable without a gun registry, and neither Colorado nor Washington state enacted such a registry. This is not lost on the researchers who studied the failure of gun control in Colorado and Washington state.
For example, Garen Wintemute, one of the Injury Prevention study’s authors, said the failures in Colorado and Washington state does not mean universal background checks are “no good.” Rather, it means “these policies may need more assertive enforcement.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of “Bullets with AWR Hawkins,” a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org