In Pennsylvania, the debate over background checks for gun purchases rages on. Many people have proposed to have the use of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System (PICS) dropped in favor of sole use of the National Instant Check System (NICS) as a means of streamlining the process and minimizing the maintenance costs to the PA State Police. Others point out the NICS system tends to be inefficient and does not provide adequate information about the person attempting to buy the gun.

Recently, some have been vocal about the need for a total elimination of background checks for guns in Pennsylvania altogether. This has been met with strident support in some places and horrified opposition in others. There are pros and cons for either position, and you should be informed about both sides before taking either one. That’s why we have listed some of the biggest pros and cons of eliminating background checks for guns below.

Pros of Eliminating Background Checks

Many people support the elimination of background checks for guns and believe it to be supported by their Second Amendment rights. These are the top reasons for eliminating background checks.

  • It saves the state of Pennsylvania money. Currently, keeping PICS up-to-date can be expensive. It has much more detailed records and contains a lot of data, which means that maintenance is expensive. Also, the actual time it takes to run these checks costs the state as well.
  • It streamlines the process for legally purchasing a firearm. The waiting period for a background check can be frustrating for those citizens without a criminal record. This wait punishes people who are going about the process in the right way.
  • Criminals can get a gun on the black market, making these checks ineffective against crime. If a criminal really wants a gun, he or she can still get one illegally. The only person hurt by background check waits are those who will pass the check anyways. This means the background checks don’t serve their purpose.

Cons of Eliminating Background Checks

Many other people support background checks for guns, citing public safety and accountability. These are the top reasons for keeping background checks.

  • The checks keep our cities safe and cut down on gun crimes. By limiting access to guns to those who are not legally permitted to have these guns (alcoholics, criminals, mentally unstable), we prevent crimes that may have otherwise endangered public safety.
  • When paired with safety training requirements, like they are in Pennsylvania, it prevents accidents. Guns can be deadly, especially if you are not an experienced user. By ensuring that everyone purchasing a firearm has that training, we prevent innocents from being hurt in tragic accidents.
  • Background checks ensure that gun owners are accountable for their behavior with the weapons. Any illegal behavior will be reported and the perpetrators can be held responsible.
  • Background checks have been shown in studies to improve public safety. When there are background checks, fewer dangerous people have guns.

Whatever Your Position, Be Safe

In the end, it is difficult to say which side of the debate will win. Recent measures in the Pennsylvania legislature have sided on either position. The most important thing for now is to be safe if you do have a gun and follow the law.

Unfortunately, sometimes gun laws can be unclear or you are accused of using a gun improperly. If you have been arrested for a gun-related offense, call the Pennsylvania defense lawyers at Fienman Defense today at (215) 839-9529 for a free consultation on your case. We will fight to for your rights and represent your best interests during this difficult time.

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