Another Record Year For Background Checks

By Dave Workman

First it was Hillary Clinton’s surprising defeat by Donald Trump, and then came the Boston Globe with a report that more than 24.7 million criminal background checks had been conducted by the FBI’s National Instant Check System (NICS) by the end of November.

That’s more checks than were done in all of 2015, which logged 23.1 million NICS checks, which set a record. There is no doubt that 2016 will hit a new plateau, and anti-gunners are an unhappy lot.

According to the FBI’s count November saw 2,561,281 NICS checks, more than any other November in the history of the background check system, which goes back to November 1998.

While this figure does not translate directly to the number of one-on-one firearms transactions, such a revelation gives the gun prohibition lobby fits. They were counting on Clinton to reshape the U.S. Supreme Court, tilting it away from protecting the Second Amendment. When Trump emerged the winner on Nov. 8, it dashed those hopes.

The newspaper also noted that 2016 “will likely go down as the second-highest total number of background checks,” logged in the state of Massachusetts, a particularly anti-gun state. Still, 206,370 background checks were processed from the Bay State, which fits the nationwide pattern of continued gun buying, accompanied by a continued rise in the number of active gun licenses in the commonwealth.

And Another Myth Bites The Dust

The New York Times recently reported something that gun rights activists figured out a long time ago and the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report confirms annually.

When the newspaper “examined all 130 shootings last year in which four or more people were shot,” they discovered that “only 14” of those shootings involved so-called “assault rifles.” As the newspaper put it, this report illustrated “their outsize role in the gun debate.”

The newspaper, whose editorial page has been unfriendly to the Second Amendment while practicing the First, admitted that the scant use of “assault rifles” in murders “is in line with a federal study that concluded that reviving a 1994 ban on assault weapons and ammunition feeding devices that hold more than 10 rounds would have a minimal impact, at best, on gun violence.”

And then came this admission: “The findings are dispiriting to anyone hoping for simple legislative fixes to gun violence. In more than half the 130 cases, at least one assailant was already barred by federal law from having a weapon, usually because of a felony conviction, but nonetheless acquired a gun. Including those who lacked the required state or local permits, 64 percent of the shootings involved at least one attacker who violated an existing gun law.”

Translation: Criminals do not obey gun laws, and despite legislation that makes it difficult for law-abiding citizens to legally obtain firearms, bad guys get their hands on guns. To paraphrase Barack Obama, it’s easier for a criminal to get a gun than a good guy to get a gun.

That much was amplified by the high-profile arrests of four men on charges of gun trafficking. The four were indicted for allegedly smuggling “at least 110…guns into New York City this year” according to the New York Post. One of the suspects reportedly sold 86 of those guns in 15 separate transactions to the same undercover New York police officer. The guns allegedly all came from Virginia, where at least three of the suspects reside.

Two Gun Control Setbacks In California

Golden State gun control efforts suffered a couple of setbacks recently in cases brought by the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

In one case, a California appeals court reversed and remanded a lawsuit back to Superior Court in Fresno in which NSSF and the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) were seeking an injunction against California’s microstamping statute.

That law, passed in 2007 and finally certified for enforcement in 2013, requires firearm manufacturers to laser-engrave the make, model and serial number of each handgun in two spots so that when the gun is fired, the information imprints into the cartridge case.

In a statement, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Larry Keane was blunt: “There is no existing microstamping technology that meets the requirement of this ill-considered law. It is not technologically possible to microstamp two locations in the gun and have the required information imprint onto the cartridge casing. In addition, the current state of the technology cannot reliably, consistently and legibly imprint on the cartridge primer the required identifying information from the tip of the firing pin, the only possible location where it is possible to micro-laser engrave the information.”

He also explained that NSSF has “long maintained that this nascent, unproven and unreliable technology should not have been mandated.”

In the other case, the City of Pleasant Hill settled out of court for $400,000, ending a lawsuit NSSF had filed against the city with City Arms East. The complaint challenged an ordinance that placed what NSSF said were “burdensome and unlawful firearms and ammunition sales restrictions on local firearms retailers.”

The city has also modified its regulations, which the plaintiffs said were in violation of state law and the U.S. Constitution

The Boneheads of Madison County

There is stupid, and then there is posting “Mannequin Challenge” video depicting a gun battle on Facebook, where it got the attention of the local sheriff’s office and police department.

According to WHNT, authorities in Madison County, Alabama paid an early-morning call on a Huntsville house after this video showed up with about 20 participants frozen in place, with guns in their hands. They arrested one 39-year-old man on charges of first-degree possession of marijuana and violating a firearms prohibition. A second man was popped for possession of “drug paraphernalia, loitering and promoting prison contraband.”

There may be other arrests in this case because, according to Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Salomonsky, “There are several people in the video who may be convicted felons.”

When they broke through the door and searched the house, police reportedly found two handguns, an “assault rifle” and several magazines, a single-shot shotgun, several bags of marijuana, ammunition and a computer.

Now here’s a big surprise. According to the story, investigators “determined the people living in that home were selling marijuana.”

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