Background Checks:Do they work?

By Kristen Tripodi

Published 03/23 2014 06:30PM

Updated 03/23 2014 06:37PM

RUTLAND, Vt. - Proposed changes to Burlington’s Charter pertaining to guns sparked a statewide debate.
Gun dealers say restricting law abiding citizens' rights isn't going to stop criminals from breaking the law.

Gun dealer Ronald Morgan says if you want to purchase a gun it's not as easy as some may think.
“An urban myth that you can come to a gun show almost just indiscriminately buy, grab, and go. You'll find that not to be true,” said Morgan.
After choosing a gun the buyer provides a photo ID.
“The person buying the firearm has to fill this out,” said Gary Griswold, owner of Gateway Sports.
The paper work asks the buyer to report any criminal history. Then the FBI is called.
“The minute we do the call in we find out in a hurry if that's true because something will pop up at the information center,” said Griswold.
The entire process takes about 10 minutes- a process that's supposed to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
“They do cross checks in other data bases to make sure the person is actually qualified to have a weapon,” said Corporal Timothy Tuttle, with Rutland City Police.
But Tuttle says criminal's find ways to get around the system.
“Extremely easy for them. They just have to know the right number and have the cash,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle says he doesn't confiscate illegal weapons very often, but it's a problem that he says has no perfect solution.
“It is something we have to work on as a community just not our local community, but national, and state. It’s something we really do have to sit down and look at,” said Tuttle.
Tuttle says one way to try and keep guns out of criminals hands is to keep a record of the guns serial number just in case its stolen.
While it's not a law to lock your gun up while at home, police recommend it. And some police stations across the state offer child locks for free.
“We have to find a happy medium here,” said Tuttle.
Meanwhile at the gun show dealers do their part to keep people safe.
“All we can continue to do is do our best in our arena and hope to influence the public in a positive way,” said Morgan.

A recent nationwide study ranked New York State among the top ten states with the strictest gun laws in the nation.
While Vermont and New Hampshire lagged behind, ranking toward bottom with weaker gun laws.

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