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Leon Pytlik, Valley City, N.D., Published March 19 2013

Letter: Enforce the gun laws on books

Regarding the March 9 letter from Margaret Bitz:

She asked why anyone would be against background checks for gun buyers. I’d suggest she try going into a gun store and buying a gun without a background check. She will go out empty-handed. Every buyer must be checked out with the FBI before purchasing a gun. The one exception is if they have a valid concealed weapon license issued by the state in which they live.

She asked why the National Rifle Association would be against it. Quite the contrary; it is because of the NRA that everyone purchasing a gun must fill out a 4473 form and be checked out by the FBI. The original 4473 form, if answered correctly, would have allowed the buyer to leave a store with a gun if the buyer was known to the seller or by showing a state-issued ID.

Then came the Clinton-era “intent to buy form” for purchasing handguns. When that law sunseted, the NRA and its members lobbied hard to get a background check by the FBI on all gun sales, not just handguns. That is what we have today.

The NRA’s position is that current laws should be fully enforced. Out of 80,000-plus FBI denials, each of which is a felony, unless appealed and the denial reversed, only 44 have been convicted of lying on the 4473 form. Lying on a 4473 form, as stated on the top of the form and above the signature line, is a felony punishable by 10 years in jail and up to a $250,000 fine. After a dealer receives a denial, he must forward a copy of the denied 4473 to the local chief of police and sheriff.

Let’s enforce the laws we now have.

Only honest people obey laws. Criminals don’t obey laws; that is why they are criminals.