Background checks should be a must when purchasing a weapon

Dyedo Tikio
3 min readMar 9, 2022

A background verification when buying arms to limit criminal acts and terrorist conspiracies has become a political and social issue of great concern as in 2018 alone, nearly 40,000 gun-related deaths occurred in the US. Many have challenged the validity of assumptions about the positive effects of identity checks when purchasing weapons. Although controversial, the mindset of objections does not seem to obscure the essential need to scrutinize personal information of those wishing to use firearms: allowing gun buyers to be checked does not infringe on citizen’s privacy, and failure to confirm their background will lead to more crime risk, while. the pre-dealing screening is necessary and cost-optimized to be effective against increasingly sophisticated criminal networks.

Many argue that background inquiry threatens citizen’s privacy when revealing information about gun owners, thereby leading to a potential route for gun-seeking criminals as well as malicious rumors in where weapon holders live. However, this assertion is weak because in countries that allow the sale of civilian arms, the gun buyer’s legitimate identity is often kept secret or only provided for lawful purposes. Specifically, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) of the United States is prohibited by statutory sharing of gun records, unless this information is needed as part of an ongoing investigation. Moreover, the Department of Justice has limited the retention of Brady’s background checks to just 24 hours, barring a few narrow exceptions (EPIC, 2020). Therefore, citizen’s privacy is guaranteed during a background check when dealing with weapons.

Opponents contend that conducting profile screening does not affect suicide and homicide rate. In fact, the high-risk individual check plays an important part in protecting citizens and their loved ones from the danger of life-threatening and gun-related situations. In particular, after being approved in 1994 in the US, extensive research has shown that more than 3 million people legally banned from purchasing a gun have been stopped from buying guns or denied a permit to acquire. More than 35% of these denials are related to people convicted of a felony (Kaitlyn, 2019). As a result, background checks reduced the gun-related suicide rate by more than 27% and the homicide rate by 22% (2019). Thus, there is a correlation between gun-purchasing restriction and criminal rate that an identity verification should be strictly done to…