In 2017, there were 39,773 Americans killed by guns. Every gun owner should know guns aren’t toys and shouldn’t be treated like toys. That’s why I believe background checks on every gun purchaser needs to be established. Background checks laws stop criminals and the mentally ill from obtaining firearms easily and legally, thus saving lives. With cellphones and laptops, background checks wouldn’t take that long and can be done by every seller. Buyer and seller would equally be responsible for a background being performed before every transaction.

A database can trace a gun from the manufacturer throughout the weapon’s lifetime including every owner. Each gun would have its own family tree like a car title, that includes a ballistic test. In the future, knowing the history of the gun involved in the crime will lead to quicker convictions.

Red flag laws save lives and helps the person being flagged to receive help that can lead them back to responsible gun ownership. Too many police officers and firefighters are being wounded and killed needlessly by the people this law is designed to stop. The family members and neighbors are also the victims of these types of shootings. Families and neighbors should be involved in the process getting the person flagged the help they need. Red flag laws have a lot of support because it stops tragedies.

The greatest threat to gun owners is a dictator. A dictator can’t risk anyone turning those guns on them and have an army to disarm people.

Tim Mahaffey, Middletown

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