President Barack Obama’s move to tighten controls on guns could curb the unregulated buying and selling of weapons over the Internet and at gun shows. But the overall effect on violence in the U.S. could prove to be modest.
The president used his executive authority Tuesday to clarify that anyone “in the business” of selling firearms must obtain a federal license and conduct background checks on prospective buyers, regardless of where the sales take place.
Currently, many private sellers online and at gun shows do not bother to get licenses, and weapons sales over the Internet have become a booming business.
- Varun Gandhi Under Attack Over Defence Deals: Here’s How
- This Diwali, Let Blind Students Brighten Up your Homes With Candles & Diyas
- CBI Files Supplementary Chargesheet In Sheena Bora Murder Case
- Soha Ali Khan And Vir Das Starrer 31st October Audience Reaction
- Sahara Chief Subrata Roy’s Parole Extended Till November 28
- Simple Tips To Secure Your Debit Card From Fraudsters
- New Zealand & India Team Being Welcomed In Chandigarh
- Mumbai Call Centre Scam: All You Need To Know
- Jammu Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti Appeals To Police: Here’s What She Said
- Shocker From Ahmedabad: Find Out What Happened
- Bigg Boss 10 Day 3 Review: Celebs Fail To Do Well in First Task
- Airtel Offers 10GB Data At Rs 259 For New 4G Smartphone Users
- Aamir Khan Starrer Dangal’s Trailer Launched: First Impressions
- TMC Supporters Attack BJP Leader Babul Supriyo
- Sri Lankan Navy Apprehends 20 Indian Fishermen
The White House and others can’t say how many transactions the step will block or how much bloodshed it may prevent.
But the new controls probably wouldn’t have prevented many of the grisly mass shootings around the country that have led to demands for tighter gun laws, and may affect only a tiny fraction of the nation’s 30,000 annual gun deaths.
Studies in the last decade have shown that criminals are more likely to get guns directly from friends or other social connections than at gun shows or flea markets.
The president’s action “has potential impact — the degree or the type, it’s hard to predict,” said University of Pennsylvania professor Susan Sorenson, who studies violence prevention. “And it’s really important to acknowledge that we can’t just have one change and expect that to change things wildly.”
The White House did not set a threshold for the number of guns someone has to sell to be covered by the licensing and background check requirement. But it warned that people can be charged with a federal crime punishable by up to five years in prison for selling as few as two firearms when there is evidence they are running a business, such as selling weapons in their original packaging and for a profit.