VENICE, FL. - Here on the Suncoast, many of those who sell guns are concerned with the potential expansion of background checks and how it will affect their business and rights.
We have heard that the vast majority of Americans want expansion of background checks, but how do they work?
Places like Cook’s Sportland already do them, and they have some concerns if it will actually fix what many say is broken.
Eric Cook and his family have owned Cook's Sportland in Venice for 45 years. They've done their share of background checks for gun sales. "We do background checks for any purchase of guns we sell, used or new. If we buy or trade we still have to do the background check."
The form with a series of questions is filled out in front of them. It is then called into the national criminal background check system. "It takes anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes just to get the approval."
Cook says a red flag is raised on only a few. "We only get a handful every year."
Those warnings can come from previous run-ins with the law or though medical opinions. In all of the time Cook's done them he says. "We've only had two that were actually denied and could not get one through the appeal process. There is an appeal process if you are denied to find out why."
Cook and all other registered dealers are also responsible for keeping the records on file for 20-years. Concern if it suddenly becomes required for private sales on who exactly the burden of the extra work will fall on. "Who is going to do the background checks for individuals? Businesses can't handle it. Are they going to have the sheriff do it? Are they going to set up their own state agencies? Those are questions we need to know."
The potential bill could also close loopholes for sales at gun shows and on the internet. Something you might think would be good for those who already do them, still cook has concern. "It is the elephant in the room. Too many questions. Nobody has any answers yet as to what is going to happen."
So there is obviously some concern with just expanding the current system. In fact, we are told the current system does not even force states to share all of their information in the database.
There could be some exemptions many gun advocates could be happy with here right?
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