One gun reform we don’t need

SOME GUN control proposals in the editorial “Legislature must act on plan to tighten gun laws” (Feb. 13) have merit. The one to require all private firearms transfers to go through licensed dealers, however, will do nothing but increase costs to law-abiding gun owners.

In Massachusetts, gun owners are already required to report all private sales, as well as loss and theft, to the state Firearms Record Bureau, and it is illegal to sell a firearm to anyone not lawfully licensed in the Commonwealth.


If someone already has a valid license, the state has already run a background check on him or her. Those people selling handguns to teenagers in Boston, for instance, are already breaking the law. Do you think that now these same people will suddenly go to the local, federally licensed firearms dealer, where the sale will be rejected? Or will they simply do what they have always done — sell their guns illegally.

Meanwhile, law-abiding gun owners, who already live under some of the most restrictive laws in the country, will incur more costs — the dealers will, rightly, charge a fee to process the sale. The gun owners will also be inconvienced by having to go to a dealer’s shop instead of completing the transaction at home and registering the sale online. All of this busywork will produce absolutely no increase in public safety.

Get Arguable with Jeff Jacoby in your inbox:
Our conservative columnist offers a weekly take on everything from politics to pet peeves.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Our current gun laws can be revised to improve safety and to lessen the burden on the people obeying the laws. For instance, as the editorial suggests, the state should provide mental-health information to the federal database for background checks. Putting a gun dealer in the middle of a lawful transaction will accomplish nothing useful.

Art Cabral

West Bridgewater

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
You're reading  1 of 5 free articles.
Get UNLIMITED access for only 99¢ per week Subscribe Now >
You're reading1 of 5 free articles.Keep scrolling to see more articles recomended for you Subscribe now
We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com