Gabby Giffords: Expanding Background Checks Only the ‘First Step’

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

As House Democrats embark on an effort to expand background checks Gabby Giffords is making clear that it is only the “first step” in a larger push for gun control.

WRDW quoted Giffords describing an expansion background checks as “a critical first step toward strengthening America’s gun laws and making our country a safer place to live, work, study, worship and play.”

A couple of points need to be addressed. First, background checks do not keep Americans safe and Giffords is proof of this. The man who shot her on January 8, 2011, did so with a handgun he acquired via a background check. Moreover, nearly every mass shooter of the 21st century used a firearm that he acquired via background checks. The exceptions were those who stole the guns they used.

Secondly, Giffords’ admission that an expansion of background checks is only the “first step” is a critical one for gun owners to note. After all, such an expansion has proved insidious in places where it has been adopted, with background checks leading to registration, confiscation, and more.

Consider California, a state that adopted expanded background checks in the early 1990s. That was followed by gun registration requirements, gun confiscation laws–via Gun Violence Restraining Orders–all of which are now partnered with a 10-day waiting period for gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a ban against buying more than one handgun a month, a requirement that would-be gun buyers first acquire a safety certificate from the state, a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry permit issuance, a ban on campus carry for self-defense, and controls on ammunition purchases.

Moreover, even now California Democrats are pushing to expand the one-handgun-a-month ban to include long guns as well. This would be mean Californians could only lawfully buy one gun a month, regardless of gun type.

When Giffords says an expansion of background checks is only the “first step,” her words are borne out by history.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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