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Thursday, September 10, 2015

Tim Kaine Wants to Hold Firearm Retailers and Private Sellers Liable for the Acts of Criminals

The Roanoke Times reported on Monday that Virginia U.S. Senator Tim Kaine wants to hold firearm retailers and private individuals who sell a firearm liable for the acts of criminals that use a firearm:
“Ultimately, efforts to reduce gun violence must focus on multiple solutions,” Kaine said. “But this act is a step in the right direction.”

Kaine’s bill, the Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act, would make gun sellers criminally liable for a bad sale if they didn’t take reasonable, affirmative steps to determine the customer met federal criteria, according to a summary provided by Kaine’s office.
 
The standard would apply to both commercial dealers and private sellers.
Kaine claimed during his floor speech that current law as it pertains to firearm sales is a "no responsibility" law because a retailer or private seller can only be charged with transferring a firearm to a prohibited person if they "knowingly" do so.  What Kaine wants to do is change the law so that sellers take "reasonable" steps to insure they don't transfer to someone who is prohibited.  This is an interesting new approach to try and get so-called "universal" background checks.  You see, the only "reasonable" thing to do is run a background check on a buyer.  Retailers already do that so this is actually aimed at private sellers.

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The Roanoke Times noted Kaine's bill faces an uphill battle in congress.

Hat tip to VSSA Executive Director Lu Charette for forwarding this news report.

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