Gun retailers strongly support expanded criteria for denying gun purchases, survey finds

Sep 23, 2013

A scientific survey of gun dealers and pawnbrokers in 43 U.S. states has found nearly unanimous support for denying gun purchases based on prior convictions and for serious mental illness with a history of violence or alcohol or drug abuse – conditions that might have prevented Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis from legally purchasing a firearm.

The research, conducted by the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program, is to be published in the Journal of Urban Health.

The research is the third report from the UC Davis' Firearm Licensee Survey, which assessed support among federally licensed firearms retailers for a background check requirement on all firearm transfers and selected criteria for denying handgun purchases.

The survey is believed to be the first of its kind to gather the views of federally licensed firearms dealers and pawnbrokers on important social issues and the firearms business itself.

"Retailers are well aware and concerned that prohibited persons, those with criminal intent and persons at high risk of committing crimes can readily acquire firearms under current conditions," said Garen Wintemute, professor of and director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. "Our survey was conducted in 2011 prior to in Aurora, Colorado; Oak Creek, Wisconsin; Newtown, Connecticut; and the Washington Navy Yard. Levels of concern may now be higher among firearm retailers, as they are among the public in general."

Background checks, additional denial criteria endorsed

The survey found that most respondents (55.4 percent) supported a comprehensive background check requirement, with 37.5 percent strongly favoring it. Of those who favored comprehensive , the strength of their support corresponded to the degree that respondents agreed it is too easy for criminals to get guns, recommended more severe sentences for illegal firearm purchasing and provided higher estimates on the prevalence of illegal gun sales by other retailers.

By wide margins, respondents endorsed three existing policies that deny handgun purchases to individuals convicted of aggravated assault involving a lethal weapon or causing serious injury, armed robbery, or domestic violence. They also strongly supported six of nine potential denial criteria proposed in the survey. The percentage of support for existing (*) or proposed criterion for denial of handgun purchases are detailed below:

  • *Aggravated assault, involving a lethal weapon or serious injury, 99.1 percent
  • *Armed robbery, 99.3 percent
  • *Assault and battery on an intimate partner:/ domestic violence, 79.6 percent
  • Publicly displaying a firearm in a threatening manner, 84.8 percent
  • Possession of equipment for illegal drug use, 80.7 percent
  • Assault and battery, not involving a lethal weapon or serious injury, 67.4 percent
  • Resisting arrest, 53.1 percent
  • Alcohol abuse, with repeated cases of alcohol-related violence, 90.1 percent
  • Alcohol abuse, with repeated cases driving under the influence (DUI) or similar offenses, 70.7 percent
  • Serious mental illness, with a history of violence, 98.9 percent
  • Serious mental illness, with a history of alcohol or drug abuse, 97.4 percent
  • Serious mental illness, but no violence and no alcohol or drug abuse, 91.2 percent

"Respondents very strongly supported an array of criteria for denial of handgun purchase by wide margins and in some cases nearly unanimously," Wintemute said. "Support fell below a two-thirds margin in a single case: resisting arrest."

Informing public policy

As federal and state policies on eligibility to purchase and possess firearms and background check requirements for firearm transfers are undergoing intensive review and, in some cases, modification, the views of gun retailers on illegal gun sales and other criminal activity among buyers and retailers could help legislators devise equitable gun laws.

For example, California's legislature has sent to Governor Brown a bill (SB 755 authored by Senator Lois Wolk) to prevent those with multiple convictions for alcohol-related offenses, such as DUIs, from purchasing and possessing firearms. More than two thirds (70.7 percent) of the retailers endorsed this proposal.

About the survey

Wintemute surveyed 1,601 of 9,720 dealers, pawnbrokers and gunsmiths who sold 50 or more firearms each year. The survey comprised 38 questions and was distributed by mail. The response rate was 36.9 percent. Previously published reports detailed other aspects of the survey, from retailers' views on whether it is too easy for criminals to get guns in America to the frequency of illegal gun-purchase attempts and their perceptions on the willingness of fellow retailers to engage in illegal activity.

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User comments : 7

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TheGhostofOtto1923
2.4 / 5 (17) Sep 23, 2013
More lies.

"A scientific survey of gun dealers and pawnbrokers in 43 U.S. states has found nearly unanimous support for denying gun purchases based on prior convictions and for serious mental illness with a history of violence or alcohol or drug abuse"

-This implies that there arent already very strict laws preventing this. Heres the form you fill out to get a gun, which every dealer and pawnbroker is intimately familiar with:
http://www.atf.go...73-1.pdf

-which is also the form they use to do the mandatory instant backround check.
http://www.fbi.go...ct-sheet

And if you ask them if they agree with whats on the form, they will answer of course. Anyone who lies on this form is committing a felony.

"...conditions that might have prevented Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis from legally purchasing a firearm"

-Doubtful as he had a security clearance. He used a shotgun which is even legal in the UK.
kochevnik
1.6 / 5 (13) Sep 23, 2013
The shooter behind the Washington Navy Yard massacre was on the same anti-depressant drug that Adam Lanza had used before gunning down school children in Connecticut last year.

"The shooting at the Navy Yard was not the result of absence of gun control," said Michael Jones the editor of Culture Wars magazine in an interview with Press TV.

The shooting, that left 12 people dead last week, was rather the œresult of irresponsible distribution of Selective Serotonin Receptor Inhibitors, or anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac and Zoloft," he said.

Jones continued, "They [SSRI] cause feelings of violence. They lead to these types of massacres repeatedly and the government simply will not address this issue, because the government is implicated in distributing these drugs."

http://rinf.com/a...d/72322/
Captain Stumpy
1.9 / 5 (13) Sep 24, 2013
the Navy yard shooting could have been stopped very quickly simply by letting the ARMED Marines actually have AMMUNITION!

http://bearingarm...tragedy/

it takes a complete freakin MORON to disarm the military (like the current CIC allowed)! but instead of taking responsibility, o-butt-head blames the NRA!

http://www.washin...iolence/

that's like blaming Ford (or any automaker) for DUI's...or blaming steel manufacturers for knife deaths!

WTF ??

Hey, Otto... I bet you a beer that some idiot anti-gun moron starts telling you that you are wrong without having ever been thru the background checks or even bothering to click your links to read them!

i would offer one beer for each moron but i dont think i could afford that as there are a snot-load that always hit these type articles and vomit up the same arguments. and then continue to argue in the face of overwhelming evidence
Sinister1811
1 / 5 (7) Sep 24, 2013
There's this "logic" in the US (and other places) where everyone needs a gun to protect themselves from other people with guns. Somehow, this makes them feel safer, knowing that the dodgy drug dealer down the street has a double barrel shotgun.
freethinking
1.8 / 5 (15) Sep 24, 2013
Just wondering if race had anything to do with this shooter at the Navy Yard not having his security clearance revoked or him not going to jail for his other prior criminal use of a firearm?

If he was a heterosexual white man, would he have been given so many breaks?
freethinking
2.2 / 5 (17) Sep 24, 2013
We should do a survey of Criminals and Shooters and do scientific study to determine are criminals deterred from using guns in "Gun Free" zones?

Number of mass shooting at American bases before they were declared gun free zones 0, number after.... too many.
kochevnik
1.7 / 5 (12) Sep 24, 2013
There's this "logic" in the US (and other places) where everyone needs a gun to protect themselves from other people with guns
Or without guns
Somehow, this makes them feel safer, knowing that the dodgy drug dealer down the street has a double barrel shotgun.
Yes it does. I feel safer when visiting Nevada that there is a gun store on every corner. In contrast I would be forced to call the police in California and bleed out while waiting thirty minutes for Mexican policemen to arrive. Police in California aren't even hired for their skills but for the fact that 80% of the people they arrest are native Spanish speakers

Mexico is also two times more violent than any other South American country and Mexico is filled with criminal gangs like the Knights Templar who come to your door asking you to wash your 12yo daughter so they can return her pregnant in a few weeks. In exchange they don't shoot your brains out and rape her right there