I just listened to a telephonic town hall meeting with South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, who voted to block a universal background check bill in the Senate. Graham told a story of a woman who was determined to be mentally unstable in court, but whose status was never entered into the federal background check system. She later bought a gun legally and tried to shoot up a school in Charleston, but the gun didn’t work. Graham says that people like this need to be in the federal background check system.
In fact state participation in the federal system is spotty, particularly when it comes to mental health data. It’s a big problem.
Graham admits that there are people out there who are dangerous who can buy guns, and the current background check system won’t stop them. Graham’s answer is to get these people in the system. If they are in the system, then these dangerous people will have to buy their guns from private unlicensed sellers online or at gun shows.
It doesn’t do any good to have every dangerous person in the federal background check database, when not every gun purchaser is checked against that database.