[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 19
1875, 1:35PM - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez hanged in San Jose [story]

Commentary by Sen. Dianne Feinstein
| Wednesday, Dec 4, 2013
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

Twenty years ago Saturday, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act became the law of the land. This groundbreaking gun-safety law requires background checks on all gun sales by licensed dealers.

Background checks on gun purchases work. The law has stopped more than 2 million convicted felons, domestic abusers and individuals with serious mental illnesses from purchasing firearms.

But the Brady Act has a big loophole: It does not require background checks on the estimated 40 percent of gun transfers made between private parties. This means anyone can purchase a firearm at a gun show or over the Internet without undergoing any sort of background check. Last year, an estimated 6.6 million firearms were transferred this way.

Critics have argued that expanding background checks to close this loophole is pointless because no criminal would consent to a background check. California law – which requires background checks on all gun sales except those between family members – proves otherwise.

This year, background checks in California have been conducted on more than 750,000 gun sales. Nearly 5,800 prospective gun purchasers were denied because they failed the background check. Of those 5,800 denials, 536 – or nearly 10 percent – involved sales between private parties.

Bottom line: So far this year, California’s law has stopped more than 500 criminals, domestic abusers and mentally ill persons from purchasing weapons.

California’s gun death rate has been cut by 56 percent over the past 20 years, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, in part because background checks are required on these private sales. Our state’s system is working, and Californians are safer because background checks on private sales are mandatory.

This has proved true in other states as well. In states that require background checks for private handgun sales, 38 percent fewer women are shot to death by their partners and 39 percent fewer law enforcement officers are shot to death with handguns, according to an analysis conducted by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

But only 16 states require background checks on these private transactions. In the other 34 states, private transfers happen every day with no questions asked.

The case for expanded background checks is more urgent now than ever before. The Internet makes it even easier for would-be gun buyers to acquire firearms without submitting to background checks.

A recent report by Mayors Against Illegal Guns examined a sample of individuals who sought to buy a firearm by posting a “want-to-buy” advertisement on one popular gun classifieds website. Of these prospective buyers, 1 in 30 had a criminal record that bars the person from owning a gun.

With an estimated 790,000 for-sale or trade ads posted over the course of a year – or more than 2,000 each day – more than 25,000 guns may be transferred to criminals each year through just this one website. These figures do not count guns transferred to people who are prohibited from possessing firearms for other reasons, such as mental illness.

A status quo where 40 percent of gun sales occur without background checks contributes to the plague of gun violence in this country and must not be allowed to continue. Two decades after the Brady Act was signed into law, it is time for Congress to expand our nation’s background check system to cover Internet, gun show and other private party sales.

We know background checks work. Let’s finish the job we started 20 years ago and finally make expanded background checks a reality in this country.


Dianne Feinstein (D) represents California in the U.S. Senate.


Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. Richard Trimble says:

    Are the estimates used for this article W.A.G. or S.W.A.G.?


  2. dave M says:

    In cities like Chicago with some of the strictest laws in the nation, we have some of the highest murder rates. Gun laws do NOT stop criminals or crazy people from causing violence with any object. The crazy shooters at the Washington Navy Yard, Colorado theater and Virginia Tech ALL passed backrounds checks. So tell me how new checks will or could have prevented those horrific shootings?

  3. Larry says:

    there are back round checks already in place here in Illinois, ISP does the work before owner can take possession of purchase. The problem is how can your proposal guarantee that a registry won’t be developed to use for confiscation of weapons? You can’t therefore we reject the proposal. It is always the ulterior motive that has to be discovered before the law is made.

  4. Otto Schwab says:

    Of all the sales background checks have prevented, how many have been prosecuted? Of all the high numbers, 47 have been Prosecuted.

  5. Wendy Weinbaum says:

    Sorry, Ms. Flatulant Feinstein – background checks are an INFRINGEMENT. Now is the time when all REAL Americans put our 2nd Amendment FIRST! And don’t forget that America wasn’t won with a registered gun. As a fellow Jewess in the US, I say you are a stain on American Jewry.

  6. Bruce Richardson says:

    I wonder if Ms. Feinstein knows that most of those people who were prevented from purchasing guns were not criminals. They were the result of errors. That’s why there were less than 100 convictions out of her claimed 2 million stopped from purchasing guns. Criminals would generally know whether they can pass a background check. If they know that they can’t they will simply buy guns on the street. Almost all background checks are done on people who can pass background checks.

    Has the war on drugs kept drugs off the street after being waged for so long? Why would anyone think that a war on guns will keep guns off the street.

  7. dave bowendbowen6@cox.net says:

    There is nothing in the most recent proposals,that violates the second ammendment rights of anybody. Not background checks,or restrictions on military weapons or ammo clips. If you actually read the second ammendment,you will see nothing in there.that says you have the right to carry a gun just because you feel like it. It is not in there!Even hunters are restricted to the types of ammo they can use,depending on what they are trying to kill.If you cannot hit what you are aiming at with less than three shots,you have no business with a gun anyway. Most ardent gun advocates I know,are chicken hawks. Never served in combat,perfectly willing to let others do their fighting. If the had served,they would never pick up a gun ever again. TRUST ME!

Leave a Comment

Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
Friday, Mar 16, 2018
Quentin Kopp, retired judge and Bay Area politician, was once chairman of the High-Speed Rail Authority and helped sell the bullet train to voters. He’s now suing to stop it, saying, "The litigation, which is pending, will result, I am confident, in the termination of the High-Speed Rail Authority's deceiving plan."
Thursday, Mar 8, 2018
A wildfire stripped the banks of Placerita Creek of its thick, lush blanket of green – exposing thousands of shoots of the evil tamarisk.
Friday, Mar 2, 2018
In her March 2018 message, Mayor Laurene Weste outlines why Santa Clarita is a tech-savvy "smart city" and previews coming upgrades in street lighting, recycling stations and the local fiber-optic network.
Thursday, Feb 15, 2018
There was broad public support for the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan, which struck a careful balance between lands available for large-scale renewable energy development and the environment. Now the federal government is rethinking it - putting the important and much-needed protections at risk.
Tuesday, Feb 13, 2018
You can prevent vision loss by finding and treating problems early. Medicare covers a glaucoma test once every 12 months for people at high risk for glaucoma
Wednesday, Feb 7, 2018
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter SCV Group Chair Sandra Cattell urges Santa Clarita Valley residents to contact their congressional representatives to push legislation to kill the Cemex mining project in Soledad Canyon.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
The Small Business Investment Opportunity Act, sponsored by Rep. Steve Knight (R-CA) and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2017, has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bi-partisan group of Senators.
Knight Small Business Opportunity Act Introduced in Senate
The city of Santa Clarita's Planning Commission will hold its next Regular Meeting at City Hall on Tuesday, March 20 starting at 6 p.m.
March 20: Planning Commission Regular Meeting
The Master's University freshman track and field athletes showed great promise at the Ross and Sharon Irwin Collegiate Scoring Meet at Point Loma Nazarene University on Sunday.
TMU Track and Field Freshmen Shine at Point Loma
During Sunday's ninth inning, Master's came out on the wrong side — of a 5-4 final score at McBean Park in Lincoln and a three-game sweep.
TMU Baseball Squanders Grand Slam in Series Finale
The TMU Mustangs baseball team (17-12, 10-9 in Golden State Athletic Conference) was swept 9-1 and 5-3 by NAIA No. 7 William Jessup on the road Saturday.
Mustangs Baseball Drops Two to Jessup
"They'll be back," TMU men's basketball team's lone senior Lawrence Russell said after a 106-104 loss to Peru State College in the first round of the NAIA Division 1 National Championship tournament Wednesday.
TMU Men’s Basketball Team Eyes Another Run
Chandra Subramaniam spent his first week as the new dean of California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics learning about the job and the people he’ll be working with.
Chandra Subramaniam is New Dean of CSUN’s Nazarian Business College
Santa Clarita Valley students, teachers, families and supporters will gather for a "March for Our Lives" rally at Marketplace Park in Valencia on Saturday, March 24, starting at 10 a.m., to demand an end to gun violence in schools.
March 24: SCV ‘March for Our Lives’ Rally to ‘Demand Safe Schools’
The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is expanding its S.H.A.R.E. Program in an effort to reduce reports of hate crimes and hate incidents throughout the county.
LASD Expands ‘S.H.A.R.E.’ Anti-Hate Program
Los Angeles County Interim Health Officer Dr. Jeffrey Gunzenhauser has extended a county beach use advisory through Tuesday night at 10 due to runoff from the recent rainfall.
Beach Use Advisory Extended Through Tuesday
'NCIS," 'Criminal Minds' and three feature films are among the productions filming in the Santa Clarita Valley March 19-25, 2018.
‘NCIS,’ “Criminal Minds,’ 3 Features Now Filming in Santa Clarita
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors invites you to join us in celebrating Public Defense Day today to honor the 55th anniversary of the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright.
County Observes ‘Public Defense Day,’ Seeks New Top PD
As Metro begins to put together its transportation budget for the 2019 fiscal year, effective July 1, 2018 through June 30, 2019, the agency seeks input from the public to help set priorities.
Metro Seeks Public Input on FY-19 Budget
The United States Senate has passed H.R. 3210, the Securely Expediting Clearances Through Reporting Transparency or SECRET Act introduced by Representative Steve Knight (R-CA), by unanimous consent.
Knight’s Security Clearance Act Passes Unanimously in Senate
The SCV Sheriff’s Station and city of Santa Clarita are joining other public safety agencies across the country this week to promote the “#9pmRoutine,” a social media campaign to prevent unnecessary thefts from vehicles as well as homes.
City, Sheriff Join ‘#9pmRoutine’ Campaign to Keep Valuables Safe
State Sen. Scott Wilk (D-Palmdale) and Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita) will co-host a women's safety and self-defense workshop at The Centre in Centre Pointe on Saturday, April 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
April 7: Wilk, Acosta Host Women’s Safety, Self-Defense Workshop
Two crimes were listed on the SCV Sheriff's Station's Public Safety and Crime Information Report for Stevenson Ranch (Zone 3) for the period from February 26 to March 11, 2018.
Crime Blotter: Burglary in Stevenson Ranch
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station wrapped up a pair of related cases Saturday night with the arrest of an alleged motorhome thief in Saugus.
SCV Deputies Arrest Alleged Motorhome Bandit in Saugus
1875, 1:35PM - Outlaw Tiburcio Vasquez hanged in San Jose [story]
1919 - Swall Hotel in Newhall burns down (corner Main & Market) [story]
1927 - Newhall telephone exchange, est. 1900, now serves 100 phones [story]
The 2018 SXSW Film Festival, which runs from March 9 to 18, announced its Jury and Special Award winners on Tuesday with CalArts alumni taking home some of the top prizes.
CalArtians Earn Juried Prizes at 2018 SXSW Film Festival
Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club "Youth of the Year" Lluvia Partida was among the young people vying for regional "Youth of the Year" honors at the annual County Alliance award ceremony Tuesday night.
County Boys and Girls Club Alliance Names 2 ‘Youth of the Year’ Honorees
Newhall School District administrators will host an information/enrollment meeting for families that may be affected by the possible closure of the Einstein Academy at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School on Wednesday, March 21, starting at 6:30 p.m.
March 21: Newhall School District Info Session for Einstein Families
The SCV Chamber of Commerce-sponsored NextSCV group for young business professionals ages 21-40 will tour Scorpion's new Valencia headquarters on Wednesday, March 28 starting at 5:30 p.m.
March 28: Young SCV Professionals to Tour Scorpion HQ
The Bureau of Land Management has made available for public review a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and draft Land Use Plan Amendment that aim to manage dispersed recreation visitation over an extensive area in the Mojave Desert.
BLM Issues EIR for Mohave Desert Use, Seeks Public Comment
The TMU Mustangs men's basketball team lost to Peru State College 106-104 in overtime at the NAIA Division 1 National Championship tournament opener in Kansas City Wednesday night.
TMU Men’s Hoops Team Upset by Peru State in First Round
The Master's University doubled up the University of Antelope Valley 8-4 on a cloudy and cold Wednesday afternoon in Placerita Canyon.
Mustangs Stop UAV Pioneers in Their Tracks 8-4
After standing toe-to-toe with the perennial powerhouse Freed Hardeman Lions, the Mustangs didn't have enough left in the fourth quarter and fell 71-51 in the NAIA Women's National Tournament Wednesday.
Mustangs Fall to Freed Hardeman at Nationals
College of the Canyons starter Joy Veloz struck out nine batters and the Cougars pounded out 10 hits to defeat conference rival Antelope Valley College 7-2 at Whitten Field on Thursday.
COC Softball Team Claims 7-2 Victory Over Antelope Valley
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority has implemented a one-year pilot program to assist Metro-certified Small Business Enterprise, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise firms secure sufficient bonding to work on Metro construction projects.
LA Metro Launches Program for Small, Disadvantaged, Veteran-Owned Firms
The Golden Oak Adult School will host its second annual Open House at the school on Tuesday, March 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
March 27: Golden Oak Adult School 2nd Annual Open House
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $2.7 million payment to the family of a man fatally shot by a sheriff's deputy in Santa Clarita on January 14, 2016.
Supes Settle Suit for Wrongful Death in Santa Clarita for $2.7 Million
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, March 20, starting at 9:30 a.m.
March 20: LA County Board of Supervisors Meeting
Local developer Pardee Homes will host a grand opening paw-ty for the new Dogwood Park dog park in the Aliento neighborhood of Canyon Country on Saturday, March 17 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
March 17: Dogwood Park Grand Opening Paw-ty in Canyon Country
The nonprofit Los Angeles County Animal Care Foundation will host a "Wild for Animals" benefit at Centre Pointe Plaza in Santa Clarita to raise funds for the Castaic Animal Care Center on Saturday, May 19 starting at 6 p.m.
May 19: ‘Wild for Animals’ Benefit for Castaic Shelter in Centre Pointe