I recently saw someone suggest a waiting period for firearms sales to stop mass shootings and it left me scratching my head. The only thing I can come up with as to why they could think a waiting period was a good idea would be a cooling off period to stop a crime of passion. While it is true there have been legal purchases by people who eventually caused chaos and mayhem, they did not commit their crimes within in days of purchasing the firearm. What the person suggested was a three-day waiting period and here is why that is a bad idea, especially in North Carolina.
Let’s get crazy and decide to commit a crime and want a pistol. So you run to the store to buy the pistol and after handling the firearms you are told you need a Pistol Purchase Permit. Now the permit is a NC rule which does not exist in other states. In other states you will have a NICS check which can take from a few minutes to a few hours. In NC you run to the Sheriff’s Department and fill out the forms for the PPP and have it in all counties within 14 days. Hold up a second, 14 days? Why have a three-day waiting period when you have already waited two weeks? Don’t you think the guy wanting to do harm will find another means?
Now take a look at long guns. They are a little different and the NICS check is all that is required in NC. I suppose the person who suggested the waiting period was talking about a long gun. In this case we could go crazy, go to the gun store, pick out a rifle or shotgun, go through the NICS check, and be out the door and ready to do damage. I’ve posted it before, long guns are rarely used in homicides, on average about 375 times as compared to hammers at 584 times. Based on those numbers we should have a waiting period to buy a hammer. Circle back to the first paragraph and list every mass shooting which occurred immediately within hours or a day after the firearm was purchased. It just doesn’t happen. If someone is intent on immediately doing harm they are not going to legally purchase the firearm, they will find other means to procure the pistol, rifle, or shotgun.
In a nutshell a waiting period is a bad idea because it will not have any impact on crime. Criminals will continue to be criminals and law-abiding citizens will continue to be law-abiding citizens. I’m not sure why some people believe criminals will ever care about the law, new flash, they are criminals and by nature are law breakers.
Please note I did not talk about a CHP because presumably the person already has a gun, has been fingerprinted, subjected to a full background check, and would not need any waiting period because they already waited over 45 days for the CHP.