Federal background checks have stopped more than 2.1 million would-be gun purchases in the 20 years since President Bill Clinton signed the Brady gun control bill, according to a report released Friday by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
But in as much as Brady’s report is designed to celebrate the importance of the law that bears the organization’s name, it reads as a litany of ways in which forces pushing for gun control have lost the battle in Washington.
Some 40 percent of all gun buyers avoid background checks by purchasing their weapons over the Internet, allowing fugitives and felons who would like to buy a gun easy access to one while avoiding federal checks.
“Make no mistake: Countless lives have been saved, and crimes have been prevented thanks to the Brady law,” Brady President Dan Gross wrote. “However, more needs to be done. Under current federal law, background checks are only required when someone attempts to purchase a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer. But federal law allows unlicensed persons to sell guns without a background check, no questions asked.”