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U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller



 
 
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  #121  
Old August 15th, 2009, 8:33 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

While I certainly am not one to say an idea won’t work (ok, that's not entirely true, but I try to have an open mind), I do think that there are a lot of factors and considerations.

1) The opposition of the NRA, not only because of the change in laws in regards to the requirements to purchase a firearm at a gun show, but also the requirement that all persons considering owning a gun have to have a license. This is expressly prohibited in my state and I would be surprised if we are the only one with laws that prohibits a list of gun owners or gun registration.
2) The waiting period that is required for other gun purchases is not the length of time it takes to do a background check. The waiting periods are considered a cooling off period to help attempt that people do not buy a gun and act without having a period of time to reflect. Running a criminal history check for a gun purchase takes less than 10 minutes in most cases, unless there is a disposition that is not complete and then law enforcement agencies use part of that cooling off period to attempt to update the disposition and determine whether a person meets the requirements.
3) Is it realistic to believe that law enforcement could effectively collect this cards from people who are convicted of felonies? It is not as though they have the resources to go traipsing through all of their homes if they claim to have lost them.
4) What about warrants? Even if they could take away the card from every single person who has a felony, people who have active warrants have not yet been to court on the charge. If someone is clean one day and gets his license, then goes out and murders someone and a warrant is issued for him, do we think the wanted murderer should be given a gun? The same goes for someone who has a domestic violence injunction against them.
5) What about people who are not allowed to have guns for mental health reasons? There are some people who have been shown to be a danger to themselves and others who are not allowed to own a gun (at least in certain states). This too can change.
6) For some criminal justice agencies the background checks to purchase guns are a bit of a revenue generator and it shouldn’t be forgotten that especially in these difficult economic times that they may not want to lose that revenue source and more people would be likely put out of work.

For those who like the scan idea, this would require the creation of a program that works statewide. It would put a financial burden on dealers to purchase this equipment and a burden on law enforcement agencies who would have to go in and reject access for all persons who have a disqualifying offense. If you want this to be done automatically by information put into crime information centers, it would take time (and a lot of money) to create. This also puts the dealer in a bad position of having to stand there in a gun fairs and tell people they are not qualified. There is also a risk of a person scanning someone just to find out whether or not they have a felony with no intention of buying a gun, which would be a misuse of any such information. And then we get back to the disposition issue. If the proper information was not entered to say whether they were convicted of a felony, without a person on the other end physically looking at the information, a person could get a gun when they are not legally allowed.


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  #122  
Old August 15th, 2009, 8:51 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

When people mentioned the scanning cards system I assumed they'd work in the same way as my uni ID card works. If I have overdue fees or something, the library disables my card until I pay them. Couldn't they do this with gun license cards? If theyr'e scannable they must be linked to a computer somewhere. When someone is convicted of a crime, their card is disabled.

It's not fool proof but seems to be a good alternative to the current system.


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  #123  
Old August 15th, 2009, 8:55 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

The problem would be that a central database of licence owners would meet huge opposition.


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  #124  
Old August 15th, 2009, 9:02 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

Oh yes I realise that practically it'd be a nightmare but it would be a pretty thorough and easy way (once underway) to keep track of gun licenses.


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  #125  
Old August 15th, 2009, 4:56 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

While i definitely agree that there are faults to the idea, isn't this better than having no guns (in some people's viewpoints) or allowing people to run freely with guns (according to other people's viewpoints)? I don't know why it would be hard to cancel the licenses though, because like hysteria said, a central system would be able to disable the cards. the problem is more like what Plimply said, laws against it and having to create and implement the system


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  #126  
Old August 17th, 2009, 4:08 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I'm just curios:
Does anyone know how background checks are done to check if someone applying for a license has a mental disorder? How is it even possible to check as there aren't exactly databases keeping track of these things? And what disabilities are included in this?


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  #127  
Old August 18th, 2009, 1:35 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rell View Post
Sorry if this has been discussed before, but I'm just curios:
Does anyone know how background checks are done to check if someone applying for a license has a mental disorder? How is it even possible to check as there aren't exactly databases keeping track of these things? And what disabilities are included in this?
Since I can't explain the intricacies of any systems I know about, I have found a couple of links that discuss mental illness and firearm restrictions. The first talks about state laws, the second discusses an FBI database that some local agencies (as listed on the fbi's website) are authorized to update with mental health information.

General Information
Quote:
The laws differ in their definition of mental illness, type and duration of gun restriction, and reporting practices on the part of physicians caring for these patients, according to the report.[...]
[b]y the end of the review in 2005, 43 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico had laws prohibiting people with mental illness from obtaining firearm licensure, 36 states and Puerto Rico had similar prohibitions for those with substance use problems, and 31 states, Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico had similar prohibitions for those with alcohol problems.

Twenty states and Washington, D.C., have databases containing information submitted by courts or mental health treatment facilities on people with mental illness. In California, for instance, people who have been admitted to a psychiatric hospital and ruled a danger to themselves or others must be reported to the local law enforcement agency by an attending health care professional, according to the report.
National Instant Criminal Background Check System
Quote:
n November 1993, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 (Brady Act), Public Law 103-159, was signed into law requiring Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to request background checks on prospective firearm transferees. The permanent provisions of the Brady Act, which went into effect on November 30, 1998, required the U.S. Attorney General to establish the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) so that any FFL may contact by telephone, or by other electronic means, for information to be supplied immediately, on whether the transfer of a firearm would violate Section 922 (g) or (n) of Title 18, United States Code (U.S.C.) [...]
3) Persons who have been adjudicated as a mental defective or have been involuntarily committed to a mental institution: [...]
5) Persons who are unlawful users of or addicted to any controlled substance:
While it is perhaps difficult to understand the difference if you aren't familiar with the systems, a criminal history check doesn't really work like a library card. There is some leeway in searching criminal histories and then it is ultimately up to a law enforcement official to match the person and the criminal history. I can't think of any technology that I'm aware of that would tell a person that someone is or is not qualified to own a handgun (or is a person with a felony or mental illness with a disqualifying offense) without having a person there to review a selection of criminal history information. That doesn't necessarily mean it doesn't exist, but this is not common technology and ultimately each state would have to develop a system that would do this on their own.


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  #128  
Old August 18th, 2009, 2:00 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

How do they figure out when criminals have committed past crimes then? I mean like in court, they tend to penalize people who have had a clean record less. And in school, if we get a suspension it goes on our "permanent record", whatever that is


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  #129  
Old August 18th, 2009, 3:42 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
How do they figure out when criminals have committed past crimes then? I mean like in court, they tend to penalize people who have had a clean record less. And in school, if we get a suspension it goes on our "permanent record", whatever that is
Ok, a "permanent record" as discussed in school is a record that is maintained within a school. It could follow you through the end of high school, but it does not follow you into a career or college. It is simply a school administrative file.

As we are getting off topic, I'm going to try to keep this brief. Law enforcement officials can search criminal histories and warrants, but ultimately a person reviews each result. Often, more than one result will come up and the officer has to go through and decide which, if any, matches their subject. Below is some information in the FAQ section of the Florida's online criminal history check system. These are criminal history checks that are available to the public for a fee, but the search mechanism it describes is somewhat comparable to the process used law enforcement officials.
Quote:
Review the possible matches individually, by evaluating all of the demographic information that is available. You should begin by looking at the complete name, sex, race, date of birth, SSN [Social Security Number] and any other identifiers that may be present, such as alias name, additional dates of birth or SSN, height, weight, eye, and hair color. Do not assume that the possible hit will always be the first or second search candidate.

The Search Results Page displays the possible matches to the search criteria that you have entered. The result of the search could indicate that no record was found on the subject, that a single subject matched the search criteria, or that there were multiple possible matches.
Quote:
Please be aware that, unless a fingerprint card is submitted, it is impossible to be sure if the record is on the subject or if someone else has a similar name and identifiers. The accuracy of the information you provide is critical since we search our records based on your submission information.
Some people give fake names when they are arrested, some people have very common names. Comparisons are a bit simpler when a social security number is provided both at the time of arrest and on the license, but people sometimes don't give it or use a fake one or have multiple social security numbers that they use. I don't say this to make it sound unsafe; only to illustrate that law enforcement officials tend to play an important role in the process.

I think its good that people are looking for compromise in instituting gun laws and restrictions, but in spite of issues with the good ideas, the biggest problem is that neither side is really looking to compromise certain ideals. I can sympathize, I too think a wait period is important. I think that assault weapons should be banned. I think everyone has a certain line they think is just too far to compromise. It just varies from person to person.


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Last edited by PLIMPY; August 18th, 2009 at 3:46 am.
  #130  
Old August 18th, 2009, 4:11 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

oh ok, thanks for the info . And yeah i know what you mean. A lot of people just think that there is no need for compromise and the other side is just plain wrong, not everyone, but certainly a lot


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  #131  
Old August 18th, 2009, 3:59 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by Voldemorts8thHorcrux View Post
oh ok, thanks for the info . And yeah i know what you mean. A lot of people just think that there is no need for compromise and the other side is just plain wrong, not everyone, but certainly a lot
It is somewhat like the abortion debate where there are factions that believe any restriction is a "slippery slope" to complete abolishion.

Many gun rights proponents are leery of any government registry or licensing because it is too easily converted to a means to round-up, collect and remove private weapons should that be the government's eventual agenda.


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  #132  
Old September 3rd, 2009, 5:58 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

It's elements of American culture and personal mindsets that are the problem.

Not American guns.


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  #133  
Old September 3rd, 2009, 6:32 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
It's elements of American culture and personal mindsets that are the problem.

Not American guns.
While I'm quite proud of being and American, I have to say that I do agree with you, to an extent, here. What is the adage - guns don't kill people, people kill people? I'm not sure if that's what you were trying to convey, but it's what came to my mind when I read your post.


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  #134  
Old September 8th, 2009, 3:01 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by AldeberanBlack View Post
It's elements of American culture and personal mindsets that are the problem.

Not American guns.
Please elaborate on what these cultiral and personal mindset "problems" are. I am curious as to what is being refrenced here as an American, I am unaware of my cultural and mindset "problems", but I would love to find out what they are.


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  #135  
Old September 9th, 2009, 8:45 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

On June 26, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court released a historic ruling on the Second Amendment, ruling that handguns are arms protected by the Second, and affirming an individual right to carry arms, striking down Washington D.C.'s handgun ban as unconstitutional.

1. Do you agree or disagree with the SCOTUS ruling? Why?

Do I agree with the supreme court ruling that the 2nd Amendment is not a state's issue? I am undecided. I felt that Justice Scalia rather skated over the Miller opinion (the precedent) in order to derive his ruling - and his take on the prefatory v. operative clauses was mildly amusing to me when I read it. Not exactly grasping for straws, but close enough. Stevens dissent was more a more plausible reading to me. Individual right or State right? That is the question.

2nd Amendment aside, there are cities that have major issues with gun use and it would seem that the state legislatures would be in the best position to set laws for their own cities, based on their knowledge, etc.

2. What are the likely ramifications of this decision on other cities with firearms restrictions, such as San Francisco or Chicago?

It is proposed that it could result in destabilization of gun law in the US in all cities where the issue comes to bar - unless judges are conservative overall in their rulings post Heller. That is because Heller extends the right to hand guns in the home for purposes of self-defense, but doesn't provide further regulation or boundaries. So as to "who, where and what", rulings might vary. Should it extend to private cars? Who should it apply to other than those currently disallowed from gun ownership (i.e., felons)? Which weapons are considered unusually dangerous and thus disallowed - and will that change over time and in certain areas?

3. The Court seemed to think that some restrictions on firearms were permissible under the Second Amendment, leaving it to future cases to flesh out the specifics. What do you predict will be the outcome?

I would have to imagine that rulings would remain fairly conservative in the wake of Heller, in order to facilitate normative gun law throughout the states.

4. What do you predict the practical real-world consequences of this case will be?

In DC? Happy gun owners.

5. (New question): With Obama in the White House and a Democratically-controlled Congress, what direction do you think gun rights and restrictions will take?

Well if history predicts the future, I doubt much will happen. Miller was decided in 1938 and Heller in 2008, some 70 years for any progress to happen on the 2nd Am gun law front. I think it would shuffle around in discussions for years and years before any type of definitive action is had, unless confusion results from the Heller ruling.


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  #136  
Old September 9th, 2009, 8:56 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
While I'm quite proud of being and American, I have to say that I do agree with you, to an extent, here. What is the adage - guns don't kill people, people kill people?
Which leads to the question: What is it about Americans that make them so much more murdrous than the rest of the western world?


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  #137  
Old September 9th, 2009, 12:26 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by OldLupin View Post
Many gun rights proponents are leery of any government registry or licensing because it is too easily converted to a means to round-up, collect and remove private weapons should that be the government's eventual agenda.
I don't think even the left-wing fringe out there believes it's possible to round up all the private weapons, so I say gun owners could relax.


  #138  
Old September 9th, 2009, 12:52 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
I don't think even the left-wing fringe out there believes it's possible to round up all the private weapons, so I say gun owners could relax.
Are you suggesting that the it is unrealistic to worry that the government might indeed round up registered weapons if they had such a tool at their disposal? Why is that unrealistic? If memory serves it has happened elsewhere and been a pretty efficient way of removing privately held weapons when the state has desired to do so.


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  #139  
Old June 17th, 2010, 11:58 am
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by OldLupin View Post
Are you suggesting that the it is unrealistic to worry that the government might indeed round up registered weapons if they had such a tool at their disposal? Why is that unrealistic? If memory serves it has happened elsewhere and been a pretty efficient way of removing privately held weapons when the state has desired to do so.
Just a note on how other countries look at gun possession, a grandmother was found with a old WW2 pistol under her bed, she had never fired it, had no ammo for it and had merely taken possession of it from her father when he died. Despite all this Scots law says unauthorised gun ownership comes with an automatic 5 year jail term which is exactly what she got. Just an interesting comparison.

(http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/10335003.stm)

(Am right in thinking this is the only gun law thread? My search didn't bring up anything else)


  #140  
Old June 17th, 2010, 12:05 pm
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Re: U.S. Second Amendment: post-Heller

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Originally Posted by unconvinced View Post

(Am right in thinking this is the only gun law thread? My search didn't bring up anything else)
You are correct, and I'm cool with using this thread to discuss international gun laws. If there's interest enough we'll spin off another thread eventually


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