Democrat presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren is pushing the same gun controls that failed to prevent last week’s heinous attacks in New Zealand.
During a town hall in Mississippi, Mediaite.com quoted Warren saying, “Right now, with gun violence, we don’t do anything. Not even the most sensible kinds of things.” She then pivoted to call specifically for “background checks,” which she said must be put in place federally in order to be effective.
Two things needs to be noted: 1. The United States has had background checks at the federal level for more than two decades. The checks went into place in 1998 and are conducted by the FBI on each retail gun purchase. 2. Viewing Warren’s comments against the backdrop of the Christchurch attacks, it is crucial to note New Zealand has background checks that far surpass the ones in the U.S., yet the mosque attacker had no problem carrying out his hideous deeds.
For example, a U.S. background check is mainly a criminal history background check, although it also considers mental history in situations where states have shared mental history information. But GunPolicy.org reports that New Zealand requires would-be firearm purchasers to first acquire a license for ownership. To acquire that license they “must pass a background check which considers criminal, mental health, medical, addiction and domestic violence records.” Moreover, the license applicant must submit “third party character references” and “licensing authorities are required to conduct interviews with, or to advise an applicant’s spouse, partner, or next of kin before issuing a gun licence.”
Yet the New Zealand gunman was able to get his firearm owner’s license and legally buy the guns used in the attack.
Warren also stressed how important she thinks it is to close the so-called “gun show loophole” at the federal level. New Zealand has no such loophole. Rather, “gun shows and temporary firearm dealing events are regulated in law.” But such regulation did not prevent the Christchurch attacks.
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, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.