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Mr. McMillin was right in his Jan. 18 letter on my stance toward the anti-gun control piece of legislation Rep. Perry has introduced in Congress. I am guided by my emotions, in particular the one that’s tired of seeing 30,000 deaths each year in America because owning a piece of metal is deemed more important than the safety and well-being of its inhabitants.

I get emotional when innocent kids bleed out on playgrounds and sidewalks or when women get blown away by their abusers. I find it sickening when a broadcast is interrupted with news of what is now a weekly occurrence - a school or campus shooting. I have children attending high school and college, and I’d rather know they were studying than trying to dodge bullets.

As for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) regulations that Mr. McMillin claims I misinterpret, I will stand by my own counsel when it comes to reading the fine line of federal regulations. My reading of BATFE regulations is that private individuals are not prohibited from selling assault rifle parts online nor are they required to conduct a background check before doing so.

Licensed gun dealers and frequent gun sellers who fit the federal definition of a gun dealer, however, are subject to the restrictions at issue, and it makes no sense that private gun sellers shouldn’t have to abide by those same regulations.

I’ll grant that this research is a bit old, but a study released in 2000 by BATFE entitled, Following the Gun: Enforcing Federal Laws Against Firearms Traffickers found that unlicensed gun sellers were involved in a fifth of all illegal gun investigations. That doesn’t speak well of the other 4/5 that involved licensed gun dealers, but it does highlight the fact that private gun sellers are having a negative impact, too.

My reading of Congressman Perry’s proposed legislation is that it would make it impossible for BATFE to close the assault rifle parts sale loophole involving private gun sellers, and being the emotional kind of guy that I am, I think that’s a bad thing.

Steve Zorbaugh

West Manchester Township

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