The availability of heavy weaponry for criminal uses remains a serious homeland security issue, says the Washington Post. In an editorial, the newpaper says many members of Congress “who know full well the need for tighter gun safety laws have been spooked by ‘gun rights’ groups into believing that talking about more controls is political suicide.” The Post cites “truly bad moves to undo some of the best gun safety measures on the books.” The editorial discusses these issues:
Gun Industry Immunity. Barring most lawsuits, now under consideration in Congress, “would be excessive.”
Assault Weapons Ban. The ban on 19 assault-style weapons, set to expire next September, “should be extended…and expanded to include the many knock-offs of the weapons currently banned.”
Brady Law Background Checks. In a pending money bill is a clause that would require destroying records of gun purchasers’ backgrounds within 24 hours of a sale. “That wouldn’t allow reasonable time to discover mistakes in gun sales and to trace and retrieve the weapons,” the Post says.
Gun Show Loopholes. A “gaping loophole” in the laws governing gun sales — already exploited by terrorists — exempts from background checks individual “private” sales by unlicensed gun dealers at gun shows.
The Post concludes that “laws riddled with provisions that undercut their effectiveness are not enough….Turning neighborhoods into armed camps — with concealed, loaded handguns strapped to the citizenry, and pistols in closets and drawers — is not the way to go.”