‘Responsible Transfer Of Firearms Act’ To Raise Standards For Gun Dealers

In response to the fatal Virginia shooting of two reporters, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine has introduced the “Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act” to crack down on the selling of guns to criminals.

Kaine’s proposal would hold commercial and private firearms dealers criminally responsible for a bad sale if they couldn’t prove they took “reasonable steps” to ensure the buyer was not a prohibited person.

“As recent tragedies in Virginia and across the country have shown, the gun laws in our country have done little to stem senseless gun violence,” said Kaine. “These numbing incidents in urban, rural and suburban communities are made worse by the lack of accountability in those instances where the tragedy might have been prevented.”

However, Kaine goes on to add that his bill may not have stopped the Virginia shooting, but assured it will still make the country a safer place.

“We’ll never be able to eliminate all acts of violence,” said Kaine. “This particular statute would not necessarily have caught… the perpetrator of these horrible crimes, but we can do better. We can make our commonwealth and our country safer and that’s what this act is about.”

Although there are already statues in place to require firearms dealers to conduct background checks on potential buyers, Kaine’s bill would now make their “negligence” a crime.

“It would hold a seller or transferor of firearms criminally liable should they fail to demonstrate they took reasonable steps to prevent a weapon from falling into prohibited hands,” said Kaine. “Why should someone be able to casually place an illegal firearm in the hands of a felon?”

It’s unclear who Kaine is referring to, but typically firearms dealers aren’t in the practice of handing over guns to known felons.

“Ultimately, efforts to reduce gun violence must focus on multiple solutions,” said Kaine. “But this act is a step in the right direction.”

(This article was a submission by freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 23 comments… add one }
  • ronald c varner September 18, 2015, 10:48 am

    The Senator is a complete and total moron. He is trying to take advantage of a tragedy for his personal and political image. He should be kicked out of office. Makes me ashamed to be from Virginia.

  • Glennon September 14, 2015, 10:17 pm

    Don’t give weapons to gun runners to sell in Mexico and loose track of them.

  • Magic Rooster September 14, 2015, 2:24 pm

    Passing new legislation is far easier than the enforcement of existing laws.
    To enact new legislation, all you need is a pulse and a room full of morons.
    To enforce existing law, you need a set of “stones”.
    I respectfully submit that “stones” are as hard to find as brains.

  • Jim CYS September 14, 2015, 1:13 pm

    “U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine has introduced the “Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act” to crack down on the selling of guns to criminals.” These politicians never cease to amaze me. The guy wasn’t a CRIMINAL before he killed the two people and shot a third. Did he have serious mental problems……probably. I just don’t understand their logic most times. ALL FLAP AND NO THROTTLE, as we used to say in the trade. Kane is just trying to get noticed and attempting to portray that he is “helping’ the folks.” I just have to say BS! Use your head, man! Who said you have to be smart to be a politician? Probably NOBODY!

  • rouge1 September 14, 2015, 1:06 pm

    Fast and ferious? The ATF probably gave cartel and gang members more guns on purpose than did all ffl holders on purpose and accidentally.

  • Carl September 14, 2015, 12:13 pm

    In response to the Roanoke shooting. Oh wait, the gay black madman passed a background check. Yep, this law will do a lot of good. Unless you actually deal with criminals and the mentally ill, they will remain on the street and do harm.

  • Kalashnikov Dude September 14, 2015, 10:52 am

    Governments have no more right to regulate private firearms transfers than they do questioning someone without legal counsel. Try either with me and there will be a fight. That fight can be as easy or as hard as you want it. I don’t care. Better to decide before the situation confronts you. That way we all know where we stand. I won’t spend too much time guessing.

  • Doug White September 14, 2015, 10:37 am

    Well to begin with,no one was killed in that so called shooting. The other thing is what is reasonable.

  • John September 14, 2015, 9:03 am

    Having survived this moron’s attempt at being governor, I can attest that Timmy is not who you want giving gun advice or setting gun policy. Most transfers in VA are at regular brick and mortar stores; although we still do get to sell to each other legally (for now). The store sales all require a state police background check (which costs $2). If the buyer uses that gun in a crime, is the state trooper/employee who cleared the sale going to jail? Why would the seller, he got the okay from the government?

    • N8R September 14, 2015, 10:54 am

      Well in that case…no. It’s apparent from the running of a background check that “reasonable steps” were taken to ensure the buyer is not a felon. This bill if applied correctly would/should target private citizens that sell firearms at gun shows w/o doing a background check. You know, the guys that are walking around and don’t have a booth. Anti-gunners like to think that gun show sellers do so w/o background checks left and right, but that’s just not the case. Is it possible to buy at a show w/o someone doing there due diligence? Sure! It’s our responsibility as 2A’ers to make sure legal firearms aren’t purchased by felons if we are selling them. With rights come responsibilities.

  • Jay September 14, 2015, 8:42 am

    Oh my, Oooh my! The government loons and their sincere lack of intelligence, not to mention their out right hypocrisy of being protected by gun’s! The idiocy of the anti gun people in this country is astonishing!
    1. A person stabs someone to death, they blame the person
    2. A person runs someone over with a car, they blame the person/driver.
    3. A person beats someone to death with a baseball bat, they blame the person.
    4. A person kills in any fashion, with anything, they blame the person doing the killing, UNTIL the killer uses a gun! Then it’s the gun’s fault!
    Right now in United Kingdom they are trying to ban knifes, since the firearm ban has raised the rate of knife and or as they put it sharp point object fatalities! That’s our future if we don’t stop these loons people! A criminal will always find a way to do you in if that’s their intention!

  • BJ Snodgrass Jr. September 14, 2015, 8:12 am

    Here we go again, our spineless government representatives thinking that more laws are the answers. If any of you had an ounce of courage you would work with law enforcement to make sure the laws on the books are enforced, criminals put away instead of a slap on the wrist and then leave the law breaker behind bars to complete their sentence.

    The only thing you can come up with is further penalizing the law abiding citizens with another restrictive law or act that is a knee jerk reaction at best!! ENFORCE the laws that you have now and leave the law abiding citizens alone!!!

  • Doc September 14, 2015, 6:54 am

    As one who survived senator Kaine’s term as Governor of Virginia, I caution America. Dear LeADDer went to the Tim Kaine School of Truth Telling. Kaine is a bottom feeder of the first order and is not to be trusted under ANY circumstances.

  • MrFurious September 10, 2015, 11:31 am

    Exactly what is a “private dealer?” Is he referring to just C&R license holders, or is that ANY private individual who sells a firearm? That’s the first real question we should be asking, and the second has already been voiced in what defines “reasonable.”

  • SuperG September 10, 2015, 11:05 am

    He’s an intellectual stunner in my opinion. Stating that gun laws do not work, he wants to add another one onto the heap. Voters need to get rid of this loser. Not a peep about reinstating the mental health laws that used to protect us either.

  • DRAINO September 10, 2015, 8:23 am

    So much for innocent till proven guilty. Seriously?! Another pointless piece of paper is the best idea he can come up with…???? cause OBVIOUSLY all the other ones that have been signed/enacted have been SO ASTOUNDINGLY SUCCESSFUL !!!! I got 2 words for you…..You’re FIRED!!!! LOL!!!!

  • Duck September 9, 2015, 9:52 pm

    That’s my concern as well- what defines reasonable? If he just wants to reiterate that a dealer selling a firearm without a background check is illegal (because sadly lots of folks don’t know that it isn’t), let him. The tiny little brains who yapyapyap about laws they don’t even remotely understand can feel accomplished. Anything beyond that, of course, would seriously worry me. Is the text of the bill available?

  • M September 9, 2015, 7:55 pm

    Define reasonable steps.

    • Rick September 10, 2015, 1:50 am

      Don’t sell guns to people who are in prison or are in the act of armed robbery.

    • Mike September 10, 2015, 8:27 am

      They will define “reasonable steps” as needed during your trial.

    • James September 14, 2015, 9:50 am

      I’d say that the NICS background checks that dealers have to call in to the FBI already would constitute “reasonable steps”.

    • Pete September 17, 2015, 7:51 pm

      There are already state and federal laws requiring firearms dealers to obtain authorization from the FBI prior to selling a firearm to any individual. There are already laws on what type of firearm can be sold. There are already laws on straw purchases. Laws and locks only apply to the law abiding citizens. Pass all the laws you want and the criminals will still break the laws. My question would be what who is considered a private gun dealer?

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