I have not seen much in the media regarding the current laws on firearms purchases.
Federal law requires a background check for any gun purchased through a licensed federal firearms dealer. The buyer must be at least age 18 to purchase a rifle or shotgun; 21 for a handgun.
Anyone with a felony conviction cannot even touch a firearm or round of ammunition, let alone buy or possess any firearm without committing a felony.
Purchasing through the web or in another state requires the gun to be shipped to a local licensed federal firearms dealer. Then that dealer runs a background check before the buyer can take possession of the weapon.
Buy and selling firearms as a business without a federal firearms license is a crime. Private transactions from and to personal collections are legal as long as the sales are not a subterfuge for conducting business. In other words, there is no such thing as a legal “unlicensed gun dealer.”
In Pennsylvania, a resident may buy or sell a shotgun or rifle without any background check. Any transfer of a handgun, however, must be through a federal firearms dealer. The seller and buyer go to the dealer and the buyer must pass the background check and the seller must provide proof of identity.
It seems to me that additional laws are not going to change much, but enforcing existing laws would do a great deal to reduce “gun violence.”
Michael A. McGinnis
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.