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Wednesday, Jul 30, 2014
Opinion

Background check needed

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 14, 2013 at 02:39 AM

One has to applaud Sheriff Chris Nocco for his efforts to remove synthetic drugs from local stores and likewise for  the Pasco Commission. The fact that people abuse these substances is well documented.

But what is equally disturbing is that local leaders allow firearms to be sold at the Pasco gun show without a criminal background check of the buyer.

In other words, when the purchase is made from an unlicensed vendor, there is no telling whether the person is legally prohibited from owning guns. Is the buyer a convicted felon or does he have outstanding warrants for his arrest?

Because the sale is cash and carry, their is no paperwork. No one really knows. We counted more than 100 firearms for sale, mostly handguns, in the recent past and all could be purchased anonymously. NRA members, in an effort to downplay this practice, tell me there is little evidence that firearms from gun shows are used in crimes. Yet it is not possible to track the history of a handgun in most cases because they are traded and sold without written record when purchased during a private sale.

 Clearly the Pasco Commission and the sheriff are treating synthetic drugs as a public safety issue. But why don't they require buyers at the Pasco gun show to go through a mandatory background check, a serious public safety issue? Hillsborough and Pinellas county require this at gun shows.

TOM BURKE

Clearwater

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