Seattle Times Pushes Ban On Private Gun Sales In Wake Of Lafayette Attack

In this July 20, 2014 photo, with guns displayed for sale behind her, a gun store employee helps a customer at Dragonman's, east of Colorado Springs, Colo. When Colorado lawmakers expanded background checks on firearms last year, they were expecting a huge increase. But the actual number the first 12 …
AP/Brennan Linsley

On July 27 The Seattle Times ran a column highlighting so-called flaws and loopholes in the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system for gun purchases and suggested the system will not work correctly as long gun sales by a “private party” are allowed.

“Private party” sales are those in which a man buys a used gun from his neighbor or co-worker or family member or friend instead of a retail outlet. And ironically, every gun sale in the US between 1791 and 1998 was a “private party” sale, even if the sale took place inside a retailer. The Second Amendment was ratified in 1791 and 1998 was the year the NICS system was implemented under the auspices of the Brady Act.

And now, after a decade and a half of public attackers passing a NICS check to acquire their guns, we are being told the system will not work like it should unless private sales can be done away.

Again–after attackers and alleged attackers like John Russell Houser (Lafayette), Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez (Chattanooga), Dylann Roof (Charleston), Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi (Garland), Jared and Amanda Miller (Las Vegas), Elliot Rodger (Santa Barabara), Ivan Lopez (Fort Hood 2014), Darion Marcus Aguilar (Maryland mall), Karl Halverson Pierson (Arapahoe High School), Paul Ciancia (LAX), Andrew John Engeldinger (Minneapolis), Aaron Alexis (DC Navy Yard), Tennis Melvin Maynard (West Virginia), Wade Michael Page (Sikh Temple), James Holmes (Aurora theater), Jared Loughner (Tucson), Nidal Hasan (Fort Hood 2009), Jiverly Wong (Binghamton), Seung-Hui Cho (Virginia Tech), Naveed Haq (Seattle), and Mark Barton (Atlanta), passed background checks to acquire their firearms, the Times is pointing to private gun sales as a problem.

The Times goes about this by pointing to the so-called flaws they see in the NICS system. These include the clerical error that allowed Dylann Roof to pass a background check in April and what the Times claims is an insufficient NICS database on prohibited gun buyers.

But the Times suggests both of these are trumped by private sales, which “gun control advocates…[describe as] the biggest flaw of all in the system, that about 40 percent of all gun sales are exempt from background checks because the seller is a private party, often operating online or at a gun show.”

They add: “Federally licensed gun dealers are required to conduct a background check before each gun purchase, but private sellers are not.”

Two things: First, Breitbart News previously reported the fallacy of the “40 percent of all gun sales” claim. The quick rebuttal to this claim is that all new gun sales–100 percent of them–take place at a retailer–even if online or at a gun show–and are required by federal law to be done in conjunction with a background check.

Secondly, the most prominent public attackers and alleged attackers of the last 15 years have gotten their guns via background checks, as explained above, including the three most recent–Houser, Abdulazeez, and Roof. Prominent public attackers who did not go through background checks–Jacob Roberts (Clackamus Town Center) and Adam Lanza (Sandy Hook Elementary)–simply stole their guns, so no amount of gun control would have stopped them.

Gun control is not the solution. Can we give criminal control a try?

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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