The recent News story about Erie County Legislator April Baskin’s cousin – who was fatally gunned down near her district office – is another gut-wrenching account of the escalating gun violence in Buffalo and many major U.S. cities.
There needs to be extensive federal action/legislation to address all aspects of the issue. Current pursued remedies mainly inspired by mass killings – namely, universal background checks and banning assault weapons – essentially exclude the sources of our city’s gun problems. Illegal handguns, via out of state gun trafficking, are the primary culprits.
(Several years ago, a former New York State Attorney General recommended that a comprehensive federal gun trafficking law should be enacted. Also, he suggested a “state-level ‘gun kingpin bill’ … to ramp up sentences for sellers of large numbers of illegal guns.”)
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Two federal laws of longevity – which are continued roadblocks to law enforcement efforts to prevent and solve gun violence crimes – are the Tiahrt Amendment (parented by the National Rifle Association) – and the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA).
The intention for both is to bar lawsuits against firearms sellers and manufacturers for crimes committed with their products. Incredulously, the amendment requires the FBI to destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours.
At least, Congress should pass legislation to eliminate the preceding restriction. The political will to repeal the detrimental Tiahrt Amendment seems absent. Evidence: Senate Bill S3299 (Feb. 13, 2020) “After being read twice was sent (i.e. banished) to the Committee on the Judiciary.”