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Enforce the law, then ask for more

Published: Thu, January 24, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Enforce the law, then ask for more

One point made by oppo- nents of further gun control is that existing laws are often not vigorously enforced or prosecuted. An example of this emerged from the recent discussion chaired by Vice President Biden. The representative of the NRA pointed to the low level of prosecutions for falsifying Form 4473 (filed by would-be purchasers under the National Instant Check System) and the low level of felony prosecutions for gun crimes in general. Incredibly, the vice president replied that the government is too busy to do this.

According to figures unearthed by the Daily Caller, in 2010, prosecutors considered 22 cases of information falsification. Forty additional cases ended up before prosecutors for other reasons related to unlawful possession. Of these 62, only 44 were prosecuted. However, there were 72,600 applications denied on the basis of background checks. Prosecutions per capita in 2011 were down 35 percent from the peak during the Bush administration in 2004. It should be noted that a felon attempting to purchase a firearm through NICS may be comitting a felony.

Maybe the administration should try enforcing laws that already exist before attempting to further restrict our freedom. Furthermore, if they are already too busy to enforce existing laws, what good does it do to pass more?

Patrick J. Lally, Youngstown


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