United States Congress to debate background check legislation

On Jan. 8, HR8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Mike Thompson D-CA. The resolution was immediately referred to the Judiciary Committee for review and mark-up. The summary of the bill is not yet written and a call to local Representative Bill Johnson’s office indicated that Mr. Johnson had no information about the content of the bill. The congressman’s representative assured me that he would be considering the resolution.

Bills die in committee all the time. I hope this one does not. The time to tighten the loophole in gun owner registration is long overdue. Those who choose to own weapons should be required to adhere to at least a minimum oversight, such as is required to own a car, a house or even a dog. All of these transactions are regulated by state or local taxes and yes, registration. Why is gun ownership exempt?

Money spent by the companies who manufacture and sell weapons to make sure they remain unregulated is obviously a good investment as they have been able to remain untouched by governmental oversight. Those who profit by the proliferation of guns will tell you that guns don’t kill people but I contend that domestic disputes that start as shouting matches and end with fatalities by guns would end differently were it not for the ready availability of guns in our communities. Police officers who would be alive today are testimony to the fact that even the police are often blindsided by the lack of registration of guns and as a result are ambushed when called to a residence.

The majority of regular citizens and many gun owners favor a tighter control of gun ownership. Those who own and use weapons responsibly have little to fear from regulation. Now is the time to speak out and tell your elected representative that you favor sensible background checks for all gun sales, including the locally popular “gun shows.” The phone number for Rep. Bill Johnson is 1-202-225-5705. Thank you.

Teresa Porter

Marietta