Target: Bruce Harrell, Chairman of Seattle City Council’s Committee for Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology
Goal: Change dangerous loopholes in gun regulation that do not require background checks for gun sales at a gun show or from a private party
Seattle’s recent gun buyback event fell flat on its face as citizens were persuaded to sell “gun collectors” the arms meant to be returned to the police. Due to loopholes in the regulation surrounding gun sales, this event may have done more harm than good. Urge Seattle City Councilman Bruce Harrell to leverage this clear example of how dangerous our current gun laws are and lobby to change these outdated federal laws.
While thousands of Seattle residents lined up to receive $100 and $200 gift cards for returning their firearms to the authorities, opportunistic gun collectors lined up right next to them offering stacks of cash for the same guns. As the line for gift cards got longer, people began to abandon the official buyback line and sell pistols, rifles, and assault weapons to strangers waving wads of money.
Seattle Police chief John Diaz wasn’t pleased with the way things went stating “I’d prefer they wouldn’t sell them,” but admitted it’s perfectly legal for private individuals to buy and sell guns.
The “gun show loophole” allowing literally anyone to buy a gun with no background check and no paperwork – as long as he or she makes the purchase at a gun show – has gotten a lot of press recently. However, the reason most undocumented firearms are in circulation is that private sales are also fair game. Private transactions account for around 40% of all gun sales in the US, and make up the majority of weapons used in criminal activities.
These laws make it far too easy for anyone on the street to acquire a killing tool. In light of the Sandy Hook Elementary incident, it is obviously time to change them, and this recent gun buyback failure provides additional reason to do so. Sign this petition and ask that Bruce Harrell, who was so close to this embarrassment, use it in the current push for requirement of background checks on all gun sales.
Dear Councilman Harrell,
Seattle’s recent gun buyback failure provides proof positive that current gun laws are outdated and dangerous. Policemen were forced to stand and watch as guns meant to be documented and taken off the streets disappeared into the hands of men and women holding signs reading “cash for guns”.
For too long it has been too easy for criminals to purchase guns in private transactions. Even as the nation speaks out on this issue in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, assault weapons are being legally distributed with no background checks or paperwork whatsoever. As Americans we do have the right to bear arms, but we must respect the safety of others by requiring documentation and full background checks for every gun purchase. As head of Seattle’s Committee for Public Safety and Civil Rights, you must use the buyback incident as leverage in the current push for these changes to legislation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Joshuashearn via Flickr