Background checks for firearm purchases may be a good thing. However, identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the nation.
A real background check would require a database of all U.S. citizens that could be accessed by secured computers. To do that, a law would have to be enacted at the federal level. Otherwise, some crook may be carrying around a firearm in your name. Birth certificates and Social Security cards can easily be obtained illegally or forged.
Background checks also involve labeling “undesirables.” Excluding felons is easy, the courts decide that when they convict a felon. We might consider the ones who suffer from mental illnesses, but which ones? The ones who are labeled psychopaths and sociopaths? Should we also exclude those who suffer from PTSD, depression, alcoholism or other afflictions? How high will the bar be raised?
In the former Soviet Union, people were labeled insane and incarcerated because they didn’t agree with the government. Will the courts go through the process of declaring a person incompetent to carry a weapon or will it just be decreed?
If there is such a thing as due process then some form of public hearing will be required to decide. That will be required in order to uphold the Fifth and 14th Amendments for each individual excluded from owning a firearm. We should also consider how such a law will affect the concept of equal protection under the law.
Daniel Relph, Lewiston