GOAz ACTION ALERT - Senator Flake supports 'broader' background checks
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Senator Flake's response to those who have elected him has been less than stellar. Many have reported receiving automated responses, like the several I received, asking them to call his office if they felt their message was important.
Dear Senator Flake, I wouldn't write you in the first place, if I did not think my message was important.
Senator Flake has been nearly silent on the proposals the Democrats in the Senate will bring to the floor within the next few weeks, placing more restrictions on law abiding firearm owners. During the markup of four anti-rights bills by Senators Schumer, Feinstein and others, while serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Flake left all of the heavy lifting to Senators Cruz and Lee. He did not comment or ask any questions. I know because I watched the debate from beginning to end. Fortunately, he voted NO on all four anti-gun proposals.
Also of great concern is Senator Flake’s cryptic public statements concerning the Democrat plan for 'universal' background checks. In a response to me, this is part of what he had to say, " To that end, I support more effective and broader background checks for those purchasing firearms." Senator Flake made a play on words by responding that he supported "more effective and broader' background checks. Senator Flake did go on to write that he did not support 'universal' background checks; however, we do not have any idea how far he will go.
Here is what Gun Owners of Arizona would like you to do:
Please send Senator Flake a clear message.
Our message is simple, when we write or call, answer us. We also want Senator Flake to stand with the ‘Gang of 13’ Senators who plan on filibustering S. 649, the comprehensive bill limiting the rights of firearm owners, when it comes to the Senate floor. Senators Paul, Cruz, Lee, Inhofe, Rubio, Moran, Burr, Johnson, Enzi, Risch, Crapo, Coats and Roberts will cooperate to keep the filibuster going. Senator Flake must join them in their filibuster of Senator Reid's S. 649, the comprehensive rights control bill that includes 'comprehensive' background checks.
For your convenience, the following is a sample message we need you to send to Senator Flake on Monday or Tuesday, April 8th or 9th. We would also like you to call his Washington D.C. office to express your concerns. His contact information follows the sample message.
NOTE: If Monday or Tuesday is inconvenient for you, please, send our message and call at YOUR convenience. It is more important that Senator Flake hears from you before Senator Reid brings the package to the Senate floor than the specific day that you send it.
SAMPLE MESSAGE TO SENATOR FLAKE (Just copy and paste)
Dear Senator Flake,
You must become more responsive to me and your constituents. We helped elect you. This is imperative if you expect our help and want our vote again in six years.
Gun Owners of Arizona informs me that S. 649 is destructive to the rights of all firearm owners and only restricts the rights of those who already obey the law. It will do nothing to discourage criminal actions. I agree.
Therefore, I strongly urge you to filibuster S. 649, Senator Reid's bill placing further restrictions on the rights of law abiding firearm owners. The ‘Gang of 13,’ which includes Senators Paul, Lee, Cruz, Inhofe and Rubio will need your help when the bill comes to the Senate floor for amendments and a vote on this overly broad and very restrictive bill. Without your help, the filibuster could fail.
Senator Flake's contact information:
Senator Jeff Flake
B85 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: (202) 224-4521
http://www.flake.senate.gov/contact.cfm (Just click on this link and it will take you to Senator Flakes webmail form)
Please read further for more background information if you would like.
Just in case you are not aware of what a 'comprehensive' background check is, it means that every firearm transfer, including those to your immediate family such as a spouse, son or daughter, must go through a federally licensed firearm dealer prior to the transfer. To get the background check, an ATF Form 4473 must be completed, a tax must be paid to the dealer, and the transferee must show an approved government identification card. The dealer keeps a record of the transfer for 20 years or until they go out of business.
In a very recent poll, forty-eight percent (48%) of Americans believe the federal government could use information gleaned from expanded background checks to confiscate legally-owned firearms, this according to a Quinnipiac University survey. Quinnipiac University poll of 1,711registered voters was conducted between March 26 and April 1 and has a 2.4 percentage point margin of error.
Senator Flake co-sponsored Senate Bill 480, with Senators Graham, Begich, Heller and Pryor, to 'enhance' background checks. The bill repeals the definition of a prohibited possessor as it relates to mental health adjudications from 'mentally defective' to mentally incompetent, without defining the new term. Throughout the bill, Senators Graham and Flake introduce several new terms. Examples Include: mental incompetence, mental impairment, subnormal intelligence, mental illness, mental disease or defect, lack of mental responsibility and mental retardation.
As you can see, the terms cover just about every type of mental illness making the legislation overly broad; affecting nearly anyone - From those who cannot balance a checkbook to those Veterans returning from war who are diagnosed with PTSD. Additionally, the Department of Veteran Affairs considers depression to be a serious mental illness. How many of us know someone who has lost a loved one and has suffered from a bout of depression? Should they be classified as prohibited possessors? According to Senator Flake, they should be.
Why did Senator Flake feel there was a need for S. 480 when the NICS Improvement Act of 2007, which became law in 2008, added mental health adjudications to the NICS?
S. 480 was written to address Alice Boland, a South Carolinian who went into a school administration building with a pistol. Fortunately, she did not know how to operate the pistol and nobody was physically harmed.
Senators Graham and Flake use this as an example to support the bill and to justify why it must pass. However, the problem was not with the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), the problem lies with the legislature of South Carolina. Borland plead guilty by reason of insanity in a previous criminal case. That event should have been reported to the NICS, thereby classifying her as a prohibited possessor. As that report was never made, she passed the background check when she purchased the pistol. It has been reported that the South Carolina legislature is trying to fix this problem so that these types of adjudications get reported to the NICS in the future.
This leads me to the real solution. 'Enhancing' the NICS is unnecessary and will only further compound the problem.
The problem lies with data or the absence of data. There is an old saying when it comes to databases, garbage in, garbage out. Well, if the garbage doesn't even make it (not that we want incorrect data entered in the NICS), problems will arise. We must fix the input to the NICS.
Resolution lies with the States. Congress has failed to provide the States with the adequate funding required by law, leading to these errors and tragic results.
Please take a few moments to send the message and make the call. It is important that we send a clear message to Senator Flake at once.
DON’T FORGET ABOUT OUR AR-15 GIVE-A-WAY. If you have not entered, please do so. Time is getting short. The winner will be selected on April 19th, Patriot’s Day.
Just go to our website, http://goaz.org to enter.
President, Gun Owners of Arizona
P.O. Box 18640
Tucson, AZ 85731-8640