A recent CBS/New York Times Poll showed that 9 out of 10 Americans are in favor of universal background checks for all gun sales and another poll by 8 News Now found that 76% of Nevadans also agree. This amount of support on a policy idea is nearly impossible to achieve, but when we've had so many back-to-back gun violence tragedies, it's difficult to deny that we need some common sense solutions.
So why do must Americans and I support universal background checks? If you are one of the 1 in 10 who still need convincing, here's the number one reason you should consider changing your mind.
It will close private sale loopholes.
In other words, it will prevent those who would be unable to pass a background check because of a criminal record of mental illness from easily obtaining a firearm through law-abiding citizens. As our current laws stand too many dangerous people can purchase firearms, and you could be supplying them. How? Unless you are selling to people you know and trust, you could be selling your firearm to someone dangerous, as private sells don't require "cooling-off" waiting periods or background checks.
Currently, it is estimated that up to 40% of all gun transfers fall into the private sale loophole. Closing this huge loophole would NOT prevent you or me from selling our guns; it would simply prevent criminals and madmen who fail background checks. It would also NOT require background checks in certain transfers between family members and temporary transfers for hunting and sporting purposes. (Access the full White House Plan here.)
The lack of universal background checks creates a situation in which dangerous individuals can easily get a hold of weapons they should not have. It's like having two lines at the airport - one with TSA checkpoints and one with none. Which line do you think criminals and others looking to cause harm will choose? We need to strengthen our laws in order to close the private sales loophole and prevent terrorists, criminals and rapists from getting guns from private sellers without checks.