Police chiefs from different parts of the United States gathered on Monday to call for mandatory background checks on firearms sales. The International Association of Chiefs of Police was attending a national conference in Chicago. To support their call for background checks, the organization said that the majority of Americans are already on board with such restrictions.
According to members of the police chiefs association, many U.S. cities saw a spike in homicide rates this year, which they believe is partly due to the unchecked proliferation of firearms.
The police chiefs stressed that they are not anti-gun. They merely want to prevent individuals with criminal backgrounds from being able to purchase firearms. Nevertheless, the group acknowledged that Congress is reluctant to implement stricter gun laws and the gun lobby is powerful.
Should We Close the Gun-Buying Loophole?
The chiefs of police said that background checks are required when licensed firearm dealers sell guns, but as many as 40 percent of firearm transactions happen at gun shows, or between private parties, and in these transactions background checks are not required.
A lot of gun control advocacy groups are saying that the "gun show loophole" needs to be closed and background checks need to be required no matter what circumstances a firearm is sold under.
Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said that the issue of closing the gun show loophole "is a no-brainer, this is the simplest thing in the world ... It troubles me all the time."
An alliance of law enforcement organizations that represents various police chiefs, executives and associated groups is backing the call for background checks. The alliance includes the Major Cities Chiefs Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, women's groups, African-American and Hispanic law enforcement police chiefs and executives, and university and college campus law enforcement leaders.
Gun Advocates Say Background Checks Violate Second Amendment
According to a Gallup poll published last week, 55 percent of United States residents want tighter controls on gun transactions. However, the nation's most powerful gun rights advocacy group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), is strictly opposed to such measures. Firearms advocacy groups say that more mandatory background checks represent a violation of the Second Amendment, which guarantees the civil right of Americans to keep and bear arms.
What do you think? Are mandatory background checks on people who want to buy guns a violation of Second Amendment rights? Post your comments below!
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